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The NewSpace era in India has taken off and is accelerating: Deloitte- CII report

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Today, space technology is permeating facets of our modern lives − from communication to earth observation, scientific research to navigation systems, weather forecasting to disaster management, and agriculture to telemedicine. The Indian space sector has not only boosted the country’s economic progress but also revolutionised our quotidian existence through its significant socio-economic impact.

Aligned with the Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision, the Indian space sector has made notable strides and acknowledged its innate potential. The CII-Deloitte ‘NewSpace: India perspective report, launched at the International Conference on Space 2023, delved deeper into the pivotal factors fueling this space renaissance. The report offers an understanding of the Indian space ecosystem in terms of regulatory structures, technological progress, and collaborative initiatives. It dives straight into private sector involvement, and financing trends.

The report further elucidates the crucial role of the space sector in propelling socio-economic growth, with a call to action − a must for the growth of the Indian space sector. With collaboration at the heart of India’s thriving NewSpace industry, the space sector witnesses an unprecedented surge in start-ups, with more than 420 registered as start-ups with the IN-SPACe portal of registered space organisations.

This remarkable growth has been made possible through various policy interventions, including privatisation of the space sector. The recent release of Indian Space Policy 2023, led by the Department of Space, formally integrated Non-Government Entities (including private space enterprises) in various space-related domains, also acts as a growth driver for the sector. These space related domains include satellite manufacturing, launch services, space applications, and research and development.

Sharing his views on India’s space aspirations, Sreeram Ananthasayanam, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, said, “India’s space sector stands on the brink of a transformative journey, with reforms poised to stimulate supply and demand in the space economy. The Government of India is unwavering in its commitment to enhancing technology diffusion into and nurturing a thriving space economy. The emergence of the NewSpace era in India promises to unleash a wave of innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialisation marked by agile start-ups, flexible business models, and a focus on cost-effectiveness. The government’s forward-looking policies have paved the way for private entities to actively participate in core space activities. This marks a shift from a government-centric ecosystem to a much more democratised ecosystem where private efforts complement government efforts. The convergence of these efforts enables rapid innovation, cost-effective solutions, and newer possibilities.”

 He further added “the global space sector landscape is dynamically changing. As we embark on this new frontier in space exploration, our mission “Antariksh mein Aatmanirbharata” focuses on self-reliance while simultaneously enhancing our capabilities and meeting global demand with the ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Make for Global’ initiatives”.

 In this rapidly evolving landscape, NewSpace is poised to revolutionise how we explore, use, and benefit from space. The space sector’s impact extends far beyond its boundaries into other sectors. By driving technological advancements and innovation, it catalyses growth in allied industries, such as telecommunications, agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, navigation, and strategic defence. This multiplies economic opportunities, fostering a thriving ecosystem and positioning the nation at the forefront of global scientific and economic progress.

The report also caters to a diverse readership eager to understand and contribute to the dynamic Indian space landscape. It highlights that domestic and international stakeholders are keen to collaborate and invest in India’s thriving space ecosystem.

It further lays out a series of critical “Call to actions” that intertwine seamlessly to drive growth and innovation. From fostering public-private partnerships to optimising tax initiatives and policy reforms (through schemes such as Production-Linked Incentive and customs exemptions), each action contributes to a dynamic ecosystem. Strengthened collaborations with academia and a comprehensive assessment of current space capabilities further pave the way for self-reliance and competitiveness. The downstream capabilities of the sector hold enormous potential, and a study on tapping the full extent of these capabilities is essential. Standardising market size estimates and benchmarking global initiatives form the cornerstone of this transformative journey, ensuring that the Indian Space Policy 2023 remains adaptive and impactful.

With a focus on achieving cost-efficiency and self-sufficiency, and promoting international partnerships, the country is poised to make a lasting impact on space exploration and technology, fostering substantial growth.

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