During a recent conversation with an industry delegate from Europe who is working in the space industry, we were chatting about how India is set to launch 103 satellites on a single rocket in a few weeks, achieving a world record for the most satellites launched on a single rocket. This is a great feat for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), playing the role of the OEM in putting together both the satellites and the launch vehicles. To my surprise, several industry representatives from developed ecosystems in Europe and the US that I have talked to do not recognize that India has a niche but vibrant ecosystem of SMEs in the space industry. The Indian space ecosystem consists of roughly 500 SMEs that are providing the Tier 2, 3, 4 level work for all of ISRO’s plans to come to fruition.
In a similar visit to one of the local suppliers who also supplies ISRO, the entrepreneur who set up the facility was talking about how ISRO is their only major customer and they really are looking for help in diversification of their customer base. However, the entrepreneur had never done business abroad and did not really have an idea of how to integrate himself into the global space industry ecosystem. This comes at a time when VCs invested more in space startups in 2016 than in the previous 15 years combined. There are 5000+ satellites projected to be launched in the next 10 years and this is probably one of the best periods to be supplying great products/services to build satellites and rockets.
The question that stems out of this is a very simple one. How can we globalize the space industry so that competitive local industries (wherever they are) can connect and capture a market anywhere in the world and help grow the space economy? We started off with a very simple exercise of mapping the local industry cluster of Bangalore, India. We were able to map over 50+ SMEs who are providing products/services to ISRO in Bangalore alone.
Now through satsearch (www.satsearch.co), a German vendor of COTS-based sensors for small satellite attitude determination is able to connect to a university in Southern India trying to build their first nanosatellite. Similarly, a Built-to-Print vendor who is based out of Bangalore, India is able to be discovered by a satellite constellation startup in Silicon Valley. A predicted 10,000 NewSpace startups will emerge over the next decade and satsearch will enable space SMEs to showcase their product/services, which helps them integrate their offering into the global supply chain.
We are now taking this to the next level by turning satsearch into the world’s first dedicated search engine for space products/services. Our platform will provide users with parametric search capabilities, enabling complex data querying and visualization at their fingertips. The parametric engine will enable numerous applications that will streamline the process of taking an idea and launching it into space. For instance, programmatic iteration of design concepts using the satsearch API will by matching requirements to feasible products and services.
With over 10,000+ searches in 2016 for spacecraft components, we’re now listing across the industry verticals and horizontals. We’d love to have more space SMEs list their products/services. Please CLICK HERE if you want to list your offerings as a space products/services supplier or PM me. Help us globalize the space supply chain of the world.