ISRO doubles down on startups and MSME for space technology — launches SEED program and reviews over 200 applications under ARISE mission

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Department of Space (DoS) secretary K SivanBCCL
  • The government has announced a new program for space startups and MSMEs called Space Enterprise Encouragement and Development (SEED).
  • India’s Department of Space will also be releasing a list of space technology products and services for the private sector to develop.
  • The announcement comes after ISRO announced three challenges under the Atal Innovation Mission’s ARISE program yesterday, for which a team of experts is already reviewing more than 200 ‘good proposals’.
The government recently opened up India’s space sector to private players and despite the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) reluctance in the past, the space agency is now doubling down on startups and MSMEs to create space technology for the future.

After announcing three new challenges — propulsion, geospatial information, and robotics/AR/VR — under the Atal Innovation Mission ARISE program yesterday, ISRO chairman and Department of Space (DoS) secretary claimed that over 200 proposals are already under review with experts.

“Similar announcements of opportunities will be made for our future programs, including planetary missions,” said Sivan calling the private sector a ‘co-traveller’ in space endeavours, indicating that more challenges are on the horizon during an ISRO workshop today.


One of these programs is SEED — Space Enterprise Encouragement and Development.

“SEED is envisaged as a competitive early-stage encouragement program for innovative small business concerns or startups interested in products or services in focus areas of space technology, “ described Sivan.

The Department of Space (DoS) also has plans of compiling a list of potential products and services in space technology and application that can be developed by the industry, in addition to expanding their existing network of incubation programs.


“The mechanism for technical mentorship from DoS has also been initiated,” said Sivan.