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India allows private firms, start-ups a sneak peek into ISRO data
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (Sputnik) May 19, 2020

ISRO has over sixty space missions in its kitty for the next five years, including deep space explorations on Mars and Venus along with a second-landing attempt on the lunar surface.

The government of India has eased policies, permitting the nation's start-ups and private firms to be part of deep space missions that would be undertaken by the country's apex space body ISRO. Access to ISRO's geospatial data would ensure the development of newer technology at lower costs for Indian firms.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday acknowledged the work being done in the space sector by private Indian companies. In a bid to open up a level playing field for private and start-up sector companies eager to be part of Indian space missions, the minister announced assistance to them from ISRO's data assets.

In the coming days, a special geospatial data policy will be released by the government of India which will help tech companies in the country to use satellite-based data collected by ISRO to develop different apps and technologies that would benefit the nation.

Until now, Indian companies that were, for instance, working on agricultural or geo-positioning apps have been emptying their pockets, trying to mine out data from international sources.

But, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi planning to go bullish on making India "aatma-nirbhar" (self-sufficient), the new geospatial data policy will save Indian tech companies a lot of money, because all the data they need will be made available to them from the country's space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

As of December 2019, India has had 17 national-level geospatial policies and rules (four in the draft stage) under six ministries and departments - that are not bonded by an agreement even with each other to share data collected by them or withing their agencies.

A national geospatial policy has been under construction in India since 2015, which is expected to be released soon now that Sitharaman has confirmed aid to Indian tech players concerning space-collected data for their use.

ISRO has over sixty space missions in its kitty for the next five years, including deep space explorations on Mars and Venus along with a second-landing attempt on the lunar surface.

One of ISRO's main missions for 2020-2021 is "Gaganyaan"- a manned mission which will send a three-member crew to orbit around the lower parts of Earth.

Source: RIA Novosti

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ESA Startup competition: next steps
Paris (ESA) May 13, 2020
In spite of the COVID-19 crisis, ESA's Startup competition is under way. By the closing date for submissions, 101 valid proposals had been submitted to ESA and the evaluations have now begun. ESA is looking for ways to provide support to startups in their valuable role in the space industrial ecosystem. ESA's Startup competition offers the winning entrepreneurs a mentoring prize and an invitation from ESA to present and promote their projects during a prestigious event. Following the announc ... read more

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