India-Saudi Arabia Exploring New Cooperation in Space Sector
NEW DELHI – India is working on a new space collaboration with Saudi Arabia, with a focus on downstream applications and satellite manufacturing. This was revealed by the Indian Space Research Organization, Friday (17/3/2023).
ISRO, India’s national space agency, has been working closely with the Kingdom under a 2010 agreement with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. There has been increasing interest in expanding the collaboration since 2018, following the creation of the Saudi Space Commission, whose CEO, Dr. Mohammed Al-Tamimi, visited India last week.
“The trip aims to enhance “joint cooperation between the two countries in the future of the space sector,” Al-Tamimi said on Twitter, after meeting ISRO officials and industry representatives, as well as visiting a research center.
“Both sides are currently working on a new space cooperation MoU with increased areas of cooperation,” ISRO said in a statement to Arab News.
“India is open to sharing its rich experience in the space field with Saudi Arabia, especially in areas of interest expressed by the Saudi side such as downstream applications, satellite manufacturing and academic cooperation,” the statement continued.
More developments are likely to come in the near future, with Al-Tamimi expected to attend the G20 Space Economic Leaders Meeting, being held in India’s Bengaluru in July under the country’s 2023 presidency of the Group of 20 largest economies.
ISRO officials have also been invited to take part in the Saudi Arabian Space Economic Forum planned for later this year.
India has been in the global aerospace market since the 1960s and aims for a share of nearly $13 billion by 2025, following a regulatory overhaul in 2020 that opened the door to private players and investment in the industry.
To achieve that goal, the Indian Aerospace Association, an agency set up by the government in 2020 to facilitate business opportunities for space startups and the private sector, looks forward to working with Saudi companies.
“ISpA is constantly working to increase international collaboration with the private space industry,” retired Lieutenant General Anil Kumar Bhatt, director general of the association, told Arab News.
“We will be happy to engage with the Saudi Space Commission to explore opportunities for our members and connect with private space companies there.”