Clarity on IPR key for success of space startups: Industry leader

New Delhi: Clarity on intellectual property rights (IPR) is crucial for the success of startups in the space sector, an industry leader said, even as the government prepares to unveil a new space policy.
The space policy, expected to focus on ease of doing business in the emerging sector, is in the final stages of consultations and is expected to provide a roadmap for the private sector to contribute to technology transfer, remote sensing and satellite communication.
Addressing a meeting of startups and investors organised by Indian Space Association (ISpA) and Kalaari Capital here recently, ISpA chairman Jayant Patil also said the policy will get legal support for implementation after the Space Bill is approved by the Parliament.
Patil said the issue of intellectual property rights was the biggest issue bothering the startup community in the space sector, which was opened up for private participation by the government about two years ago.
“Will you own the intellectual property (IP) or whether the IP is going to be with the government? This is an aspect ferociously being taken up,” Patil said, apprising the representatives of the startup community of the deliberations ISpA had with the government on the upcoming space policy.
“As a government, you cannot own the entire IP. If the IP is owned by the government, it is of no use to the startup,” he said, adding that the concerns of the startup sector have been recognised by the government.
A S Kiran Kumar, the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) asked the startups to identify the end users or buyers of their products before embarking on any venture.
He said there were plenty of opportunities in the space sector, but no clear prescription for success.
India’s share in the estimated USD 360-billion global space economy is approximately two per cent or about seven billion dollars.
Lt General V G Khandare, Principal Advisor, Ministry of Defence, asked the startups to focus on areas such as Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and processing of data received from various space assets.
“We need to be capable of handling big data, we also have to be capable of cleansing that data, harmonising it with legacy data and ensuring the integrity of that data.
storing it properly catalogued and archived so that it can be Artificial Intelligence ready,” Khandare said.
He said the data that was ready for use by Artificial Intelligence enabled systems can be utilised to the best possible commercial capability.
Khandare also urged startups against replicating technologies already in use and look at offering better solutions.


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