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'Funding a hindrance to innovation'

A lack of funding mechanism in India has come in the way of innovation, according to space entrepreneur Susmita Mohanty.

By ANWESHA AMBALY in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 14.12.17
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Space enthusiast: Sushmita Mohanty addresses students in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: A lack of funding mechanism in India has come in the way of innovation, according to space entrepreneur Susmita Mohanty.

Mohanty was here on Wednesday to address students during the Young Astronomer Talent Search award ceremony.

"Space agencies like Nasa and ESA (European Space Agency) disburse billions of dollars every year to support innovation and disruption by private players. There is a need to overhaul the mindset of the government in our country so that more and more entrepreneurs can come up in the field," she said.

Cuttack-born Mohanty started Earth2Orbit, India's first space start-up, in 2010.

She added that the country had a lot of innovative products to offer in the space industry. Mohanty also hailed the Indian Space Research Organisation for scaling global heights.

Speaking about the private space industry in India being at a nascent stage, Mohanty said: "There is a lack of policy that supports space entrepreneurship."

At present, her projects focus on earth observation analytics to deliver "actionable intelligence".

"These products can be highly beneficial in areas such as environment, agriculture and smart cities," she added.

Organised since 2007 by Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, the Young Astronomer Talent Search promotes the contribution of Samanta Chandra Sekhar Harichandan Mahapatra, the state's legendary astronomer.

It seeks to identify and promote talents from high school in space science by providing them a platforms to express and test their knowledge.

Around 32,832 students took part in an essay and quiz competition this year.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: "Technology is changing fast. Investing in new technologies is going to pay rich dividends, if done prudently and in a timely fashion. In Odisha, our emphasis is on educaitonal opportunities for children and providing them an appropriate means to achieve their potential."