New space tech incubator at NIT Rourkela to build capacity, promote innovation in Eastern India

National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela, will soon get a Space Technology Incubation Center (S-TIC), as part of a formal agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Indian space agency chairman and Secretary of the Department of Space, Dr K Sivan announced the development on Friday, 19 March. The new S-TIC will play a role in promoting the innovation and research in India's space technology sector. ISRO is also looking to boost space startups and capacity-building via the upcoming centre. To set up the centre, a Grant-in-Aid of Rs 2 crore annually will be provided to NIT Rourkela by ISRO for a two-year-period. The funding will go towards research and product development at the S-TIC.

A focus of the new S-TIC will reportedly be promoting space technology research in the eastern region, particularly near Odisha, where the centre will be located. Its reach will extend to neighbouring states like West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand along with the union territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Some ten days before ISRO’s statement on the Centre, its officials had visited the Golden Jubilee Building at NIT where the new S-TIC is going to be established.

As per information available on ISRO’s website, there are currently three operational S-TICs in the country – one each at NIT Jalandhar, Agartala, and Trichy. These centres are involved with the development of academia-industry ecosystem by involving young members of academia.

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