Microsoft plans to collaborate with the Indian space agency to give Indian space tech startups free access to cloud tools, the two said Thursday, the latest in the U.S. tech giant’s attempts to deepen its ties with young firms in the South Asian market.

As part of a memorandum of understanding that Microsoft has signed with the Indian Space Research Organization, the firm will also provide space tech startups with go-to-market support and help them become enterprise ready, it said.

Startups handpicked by ISRO will be onboarded to Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub platform, where they will receive free access to several tools and resources. These tools include help with building and scaling on Azure, as well as GitHub Enterprise, Visual Studio Enterprise, Microsoft 365 and Power BI and Dynamics 365.

“ISRO’s collaboration with Microsoft will greatly benefit space tech startups in their analysis and processing of vast amounts of satellite data for various applications, using cutting-edge methods like AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning,” said S Somanath, Chairman of ISRO, in a statement.

“The Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a useful platform for bringing together startups and providers of technology solutions to support the national space technology ecosystem. We are pleased to work together to assist and support entrepreneurs, to in turn benefit the Indian economy as a whole.”

Indian space startups have raised over $245.35 million, with $108.52 million infused in 2022 alone, according to the data shared by the Indian Space Association (ISpA) with TechCrunch.

In June 2020, the Indian government passed the space sector reforms and established the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) to allow private companies to use ISRO’s infrastructure. The government also set up NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) as the commercial arm of the space agency to work closely with private companies and startups.



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