The Kerala Government will set up the country’s first state-of-the-art Space Systems Park at the Knowledge City in the state capital to attract global startups working in space sector and also make it as a major manufacturing hub for space-related technology, research and development.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum, to be developed by  Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), a major centre of  ISRO, as a befitting  memorial to former President and top space scientist, will also be located at the sprawling site, as part of the overall infrastructure of the Space  Park .

The State Government has issued orders to make Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre and Space Museum part of the Space Park and to allot the land required for the facility. This will be an added attraction to the Space Park and the entire investment will be made by the VSSC.

The Government will transfer 20.01 acres of land as lease to the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) to develop the Space Park at the Knowledge City within the Technocity as an international  space technology  ecosystem. Of this, 16.07 acres, now having SEZ status, will be de notified by KSITIL. The land belongs to Technopark.

The project will be implemented by the Electronics and IT Department, Government of Kerala. Primarily a manufacturing hub for companies using GIS and other data systems, the integrated complex will also have startup 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 required land to ISRO to set up Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum, through a lease agreement. A Government Order (GO) has already been issued in this regard.

The Government had earlier allotted 1.75 acres of land at Kowdiar in the city to VSSC, a major centre of ISRO, to develop Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum. Later, VSSC informed the Government of the restrictions in taking up world class constructions on that land imposed by the Kerala Art and Heritage Commission, and requested for an alternative site for the project.

“With the Space Park materialising, Kerala capital will become a key hub of space technology in the country”, said M Sivasankar, Secretary, Electronics and IT, Government of Kerala.  The Space Park is being set up to leverage on the opportunities provided by Space 2.0 and it will  generate lots of  high tech jobs,  he said.

Apart from VSSC, some other major centres of ISRO are also located in and around the city, and together with Space Park they will help create a robust ecosystem for space technology applications and research, Abdul Kalam museum being another attraction, he added.

Santhosh Kurup, CEO of the Kerala Government-owned ICT Academy, has been appointed Special Officer for the Space Park project. KSITIL, as co-developer of the project, will collect premium from the companies taking up space in the complex.

By Manoj

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