The report titled "Exploring Opportunities for Indian Downstream Spacetech," unveiled at the Indian Space Conclave 2023 by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, NASSCOM, and the Indian Space Association (ISpA), highlights the significant potential of the downstream space sector in India. The report said the mature space ecosystem can be classified into three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Auxiliary.
Classification of the Space Ecosystem
Upstream consists of manufacturing, launching, and operating space assets. Downstream consists of using and applying data and insights from space to solve problems on Earth through various applications. The Auxiliary segment includes non-core service areas for the space sector and products/services that are spin-offs from space technologies and used in other sectors.
The report focuses on India's thriving space economy and the potential for collaboration between the private sector and the government, particularly in the realm of downstream spacetech.
Applications Across Multiple Sectors
The report highlights three core satellite commercial application areas: Remote Sensing/Earth Observation, Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), and Satellite Communication (SATCOM). Over 200 use cases are identified, with an emphasis on approximately 25 strategic applications.
The reported noted that these technologies find critical applications in agriculture, disaster management, biodiversity conservation, connectivity in remote areas, healthcare, education, transportation, communication, and defense. The Indian government's role as a catalyst is pivotal in driving this growth.
Sreeram Ananthasayanam, Partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, expressed optimism, stating, "The India Space Policy 2023 heralded a pivotal moment, unlocking private capital to bolster public initiatives and igniting a dynamic, competitive space industry. Private enterprises, start-ups, and government initiatives are converging to reshape India's thriving space economy."
"The downstream space sector has the potential to make a significant impact on India's economy and society. By working together to address the challenges around awareness and adoption to bring an impact at scale, India can position itself to become a global leader in this sector and reap many benefits that it has to offer," he added.
The downstream space sector, with its focus on innovation, cost-effectiveness, and the integration of AI and machine learning, offers promising prospects for forward-thinking investors.
Private Sector Participation
Marked by private sector participation, India's NewSpace era is poised to redefine industry norms. Lt Gen Anil Kumar Bhatt, Director General of ISpA, highlighted the importance of space for national security and readiness for the future. As India embarks on this transformative journey, it is evident that the space sector is undergoing remarkable enhancement.
Achyuta Ghosh, Sr Director and Head of nasscom Insights, noted, "The expanding space sector will play a pivotal role in enabling sustainable and inclusive development, driven by collaboration between the private sector and the government and cutting-edge technology integration."
Challenges and Solutions
While challenges such as data gaps, satellite data costs, and interference vulnerabilities persist, private sector involvement and cutting-edge technologies are addressing these issues, democratizing access to space-based services. This fosters innovation and progress, benefiting individuals, small businesses, and local communities, the Deloitte report noted.
India's space sector is on the cusp of a bright and technologically advanced future, with downstream spacetech leading the way. Collaboration, innovation, and strategic focus are poised to unlock unprecedented socio-economic growth and strengthen India's position on the global space stage.