The Kerala government is preparing to set up a nano space technology Park with technical support from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). An MoU (memorandum of understanding) on this will be signed soon. The state Cabinet has given the go-ahead for the space park initiative with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the rocket science node of the ISRO, sources in the Kerala CMO told FE. The facility is likely to start functioning from June 2019.

The idea is to create a manufacturing hub for small satellites and rocket launching devices. This nano space park will enable start-ups in the space technology to upgrade themselves with the state-of-the-art common facility centre offered by the VSSC.

The state Cabinet has cleared permission to allow 3.94 acre of land in Technocity, Thiruvananthapuram, on 90-year lease, sources said.

Nissan had recently set up a facility for its global digital hub for manufacturing driver-less cars in the Kerala Capital. For the upcoming nano space park, Nissan is likely to be the research partner in artificial intelligence.

The ISRO, which had considered an incubation centre in tie-up with Kerala’s knowledge city, later dropped the plan over security reasons. However, since it already outsources manufacturing of satellites, the new common facility centre for start-ups was considered attractive.

What makes it an integrated ecology for space technology is the presence of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in the vicinity to provide academic support.

As a precursor, data analysis start-ups will get going in January by working on data sent by ISRO satellites.