The Kerala government will set up what is touted to be the country’s first Space Systems Park at the up-and-coming Knowledge City in the State capital, an official spokesperson said here.
The facility will seek to attract global start-ups working in the space sector and also make it as a major manufacturing hub for space-related technology, research and development. The Space Park will also house the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum being developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) as a memorial to the former President and top space scientist.
The State government has issued orders to this effect and allotted land required for the Space Museum. This will be an added attraction to the Space Park for which the entire investment is being committed by the VSSC.
The State government will transfer 20.01 acres on lease to the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) to develop the Park at the Knowledge City within the larger Technocity.
Of this, 16.07 acres, now enjoying SEZ status, will be de-notified.
The project will be implemented by the State Government’s Electronics and IT Department Primarily intended as a manufacturing hub for companies using GIS and other data systems, the integrated complex will also house a start-up incubator, accelerators including Airbus Bizlab, skill training systems and production units.
KSITIL, the agency mandated to develop IT infrastructure in the State, will hand over the land to ISRO to set up the the Space Museum through a lease agreement. A Government Order has already been issued in this regard.
The government had earlier allotted 1.75 acres at Kowdiar here to the VSSC to develop the Museum. Later, VSSC cited restrictions imposed by the Kerala Art and Heritage Commission on developing the land and sought an alternative site.
“The Space Park will make the Kerala capital a key hub of space technology in the country,” said M Sivasankar, Secretary, Electronics and IT, Kerala. It will seek to leverage the opportunities provided by Space 2.0 and generate lots of high-tech jobs.
Apart from VSSC, some other major centres of ISRO are also located in and around Thiruvananthapuram. Together with Space Park, they will help create a robust ecosystem for space technology applications and research, he added.
Santhosh Kurup, CEO of the Kerala Government-owned ICT Academy, has been appointed Special Officer of the Space Park project. KSITIL, as co-developer of the project, will collect a premium from companies taking up space in the complex.