Space regulator IN-SPACe launches seed fund scheme for startups to promote space-tech – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India’s space regulator Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) has announced the launch of a seed fund scheme that is “aimed at promoting space technology”. The scheme has the provision of providing financial assistance of up to Rs 1 crore in addition to mentorship support, training and networking opportunities.
The funding plan is designed to support space startups, those aiming to develop innovative space products and services that can improve the quality of life of people and communities in India and around the world, a statement from IN-SPACe said, the space regulator said.
The seed fund will provide financial support to selected applicants to help them bring their ideas to life and get their projects off the ground. Eligible applicants include early-stage startups with innovative ideas and projects that use space technology to address up-stream, midstream and down-stream challenges in the space sector, it said.
Dr Vinod Kumar, director, promotion directorate, INSPACe, said, “IN-SPACe will announce sector-specific opportunities periodically. We are looking for projects that demonstrate a strong understanding of the challenges in the sector and a clear vision for how space technology can be used to address these challenges. Ideal applicants will have a clear business plan, a well-defined target market and a detailed implementation strategy.”

The core objectives of the scheme are “to promote use of space technology by space startups in India; to facilitate new and innovative technologies development in the space sector; to create a framework to engage with space startups; and to encourage a culture of technology co-creation in the space sector”.
For urban development, opportunities abound for startups working in the domains of urban planning, monitoring and infrastructure management, telecommunication, navigation, broadband connectivity, water resources management, energy efficiency, climate and weather monitoring, disaster risk reduction, public health, healthcare, and more, as per the statement.
Though a grant of up Rs 1 crore will be provided to selected startups on milestone basis — in three or more instalments, the exact quantum of grant and instalments for each startup shall be decided by an expert committee based on the progress of the project. The quantum of the first instalment may be up to 40% of the total approved commitment. The grant should be used fully by the startup within a period of three years from the date of receipt of the first instalment of the assistance.
The startup receiving grant under the scheme will be required to maintain proper accounts and submit fund utilisation certificate, which shall be subject to verification or audity bu IN-SPACe directly or an agency appointed by it. However, the IPR generated under the programme shall be owned by the startup.

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