Both men announced Thursday that Microsoft will collaborate with the Indian Space Agency in order to provide free cloud access to Indian space technology startups. This is the latest attempt by the US tech giant to strengthen its ties to young companies in South Asia.
The MoU Microsoft signed with Indian Space Research Organization will provide support for startups in space technology and help them to become a turnkey company.
ISRO will select startups to be added to the Microsoft Startups Founders hub platform. There they will have free access to many resources and tools. These tools include Azure build and scale utilities, as well GitHub Enterprise and Visual Studio Enterprise as well Microsoft 365, Power BI and Dynamics 365.
Somanath was the President of ISRO.
“The Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a useful platform for bringing together startups and technology solution providers to support the national space technology ecosystem. We are excited to work together to help and support entrepreneurs, which will benefit the Indian economy as a whole.”
Indian aerospace tech startups are experiencing a moment.
The Indian government introduced reforms to the space sector in June 2020 and created the Indian National Center for Space Promotion and Licensing. This allows private companies to access the ISRO infrastructure. NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the agency, was also established by the government. This allows the agency to work closely alongside start-ups and private companies.
ISRO achieved success in November last year. Launch Vikram-SIt was a private boost after much anticipation. Skyroot Aerospace’s four-year old startup Vikram-S has developed the single-stage, solid-propellant rocket. It weighs in at 550 kg. It can carry three loads for customers, one of which is from outside India.
According to a December official response, 111 aerospace startups have been registered in South Asia on the In-SPACe platform.
Skyroot Aerospace and Rocketship.c, both GIC-backed startups, are developing launch vehicles. Blume Ventures and Lightspeed Partners-backed Pixxel are building satellites. Kalaari capital investor Digantara and Lightspeed Partners-backed Pixxel are also building launch vehicles.
According to data shared by TechCrunch and the Indian Aerospace Association, Indian space startups have raised more that $245.35 millions, with $108.52 Million in 2022.
Microsoft made many announcements in India this week, as Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, visited the South Asian market. The company stated earlier this week, that HDFC Bank has signed up to use Azure as well as other Microsoft cloud services.
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