Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) wants the industry, which already accounts for 60 per cent of its budget, to become a risk-sharing partner, as the country's space programme gets bigger and into the fast-track.
Delivering the keynote address at Bengaluru Space Expo 2010 in Bangalore, a four-day exhibition focusing on space, satellites and its technologies, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan urged the industry to become a risk-sharing partner in the coming years, which he said, would add strength to both parties.
The idea is to leverage each other's strengths, with the industry even providing sub-assemblies and very large systems for rockets, other space programmes and ground segment.
"Overall quality in the industry will enhance. It's a mutually beneficial action. We should take it up in right earnest", Radhakrishnan, also Secretary in the Department of Space, said.
He said about 500 large, medium, small and micro firms participate very actively in the space programme and about 60 per cent of the space budget goes into industrial houses.
On what ISRO meant by risk-sharing partnership with the industry, Managing Director of Antrix Corporation Limited, ISRO's marketing arm, KR Sridhara Murthi said: "We mean that they will invest and they will do business and take the risk of business".
"Space industry is a risky industry...long gestation period. Volumes depend on business changes and so on", Murthi noted.
He said the industries need to develop systems, which are "good candidates" for low-cost option, leveraging "very good" indigenous technologies, excellent human resources skills and the "space heritage".
"Secondly, they can also integrate with global industries so that benefits of consolidation and integration could be realised", Murthi said.
Nigeria's Science and Technology Minister Mohammed Abubakar said his country is keen to partner and collaborate with ISRO in the field of space.
Chairman of CII's National Committee on Technology, Vikram Kirloskar said industry is looking to deepen participation in Indian space programme but added that security and defence issues need to be addressed as far as involvement of the private sector in it is concerned.