Such parks would provide a one-stop location for space-tech-related infrastructure such as testing facilities and services, regulatory sandbox, technology standards and so on

The industry body suggested focusing on incubation and innovation centres to help create an environment and tools for improving the priority areas and objectives aligned with the technological and strategic needs of the country.

The Tamil Nadu government plans to set up a space industrial and propellants park near Thoothukudi to complement Indian Space Research Organisation's plan of launching a small satellite launch complex in Kulasekarapattinam.

In this regard, the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) on March 7 floated a request for proposal (RFP) to select a consultant for a feasibility report on setting up the space industrial and propellants park.

"To support the growth of the space industry in the region, TIDCO envisions developing industrial parks specifically to support the industries which would operate in the space domain. These parks are planned to be established in the vicinity of the SSLV launch complex," TIDCO said in the RFP.

The development comes at a time when the space industry is lobbying with the government to establish more space technology parks to boost the defence-space industrial complex in the country.

Such parks would provide a one-stop location for space-tech-related infrastructure such as testing facilities and services, regulatory sandbox, technology standards and so on, and also would be useful in tackling the high capital requirement in the space industry.

A Deeper Look

As part of TIDCO's plans, the government will be developing two parks - space industrial park and propellants park. While the former would focus on all space related manufacturing and research and development activities, the propellants park will support the requirement of propellants in space park.

"The location of the space industrial parks proposed by TIDCO would be in sufficient geographical proximity to this (ISRO) space port which would enable shrinking of the supply chain," TIDCO said.

"The proposed space park will support the growth of both upstream and downstream industries, leading to the development of a vibrant ecosystem in the region. The industrial Park will also enhance the efficiency of the space port by shrinking the supply chain network," TIDCO said.

Study Space Value Chain

The selected consultant will have to conduct market assessment of the business opportunities in the space sector; assess market drivers and so on.

They would also have to undertake consultation with key stakeholders in space industries, industry associations, regulators, research agencies to identify possible potential user industries and assess demand for activities in the proposed park.

Additionally, the consultant will have to study the status of the space ecosystem in Tamil Nadu; identify current gaps in the state in context to space sector; identify total market for space sector in the State and identify the value chain to be established in park for the sector.

Apart from Tamil Nadu, currently, the Gujarat government and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) are collaborating to construct a space manufacturing park. The park will have a plug-and-play infrastructure.

Similarly, the Kerala government and Isro's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre recently inked an MoU for developing a space park in the state.

These developments come at a time when the National Space Policy is still in the process of securing final approval from the government. The government released the draft Indian Space Policy in 2022, which was reviewed by the Space Commission, and underwent consultation process involving industry and various ministries.