U.S., India, China Step-Up Moon Exploration

NASA scientists have plans to visit the Earth-Moon Lagrangian point, or EML-2, about 37,000 miles above the far side of the Moon, where the gravitational pull of two separate bodies creates “parking places” or stable areas to land orbiting spacecraft. There is no clear timeline to this plan yet. China plans to land on the far side of the Moon some time this year. And this summer, India plans a tricky, soft landing on an ancient high plain of the Moon, where scientists think the rock may be 4 billion years old, some 370 miles from the lunar south pole. A landing so far from the lunar equator will be a first of its kind.

India’s ISRO the state-owned Space Research Organization is in the last phase of testing its Chandrayaan-2 mission (in Hindi, chandra means Moon, and yaan means vehicle). Chandrayaan-2 is an unmanned mission with three components: orbiter, lander, and rover, which will represent the country’s second visit to the moon. In particular, ISRO wants to to ascertain the Moon’s temperature near its poles; record moonquakes; gather data about charged particles in its atmosphere; and determine how water circulates on it. (The new mission’s predecessor, Chandrayaan-1 carried an American instrument which found the first evidence that there was water ice on the moon.)

Chandrayaan 1 Lift Off

So far, no country has been able to land on the far side of the moon, or near its shadowy poles. India wants to tackle both those firsts this year.

February 12, 2018   No Comments

Lockheed Martin Partners India Innovation Growth Program

The India Innovation Growth Program (IIGP) has been one of India’s longest standing public-private partnerships between Government of India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Lockheed Martin Corporation. The goal of the Program is to build an innovation pipeline in India, and it has facilitated access to capital, industry partnerships and resources sought by entrepreneurs. Through a wide outreach campaign spreading over 100 plus cities across India, the program has received and evaluated  over 8,000 and more ideas.

The 2018 IIGP 2.0 has additional partners: the Tata Center for Technology and Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Innovation

“IIGP 2.0 aims to address the specific challenges faced by innovators in scaling their innovations. It is focused on scaling innovations with a strong societal impact as well as cutting-edge industrial innovations, by taking entrepreneurs through the stages of ideation, innovation and acceleration,” says Nirankar Saxena, assistant secretary general of the industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, another IIGP partner.

Finalists who make it through the first two rounds of selections this year will travel to the United States for further mentoring at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In past years, IIGP finalists have visited the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas, Austin and Stanford Graduate School of Business, California.

“Partnerships with these universities have helped Indian innovators and entrepreneurs learn best practices from the U.S. on innovation and technology commercialization,” says Saxena.

February 8, 2018   No Comments

AngelList Launches Syndicate Services for India

San Francisco-based AngelList, a crowdfunding platform and start-up community, launched ‘Syndicates for India’— a way for investors in India to invest alongside experienced angels and venture investor funds that invest in India’s vibrant tech ecosystem.

AngelList Logo

For investors, syndicates are a private single-deal investment vehicles that let an investor invest in startup allocations shared by syndicate leads, enabling more angels to participate by getting access to top deals. Similar to a venture investor fund, syndicates provide experienced investors the opportunity to earn carried interest on their allocation, and the ability to write bigger checks by pooling capital from dozens of backers in the ecosystem

These syndicate programs operate in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. and through them, AngelList has facilitated investments of $700 million combined in over 1,800 start-ups including Uber and Indian start-ups such as ClearTax, DocTalk and Squad.

January 24, 2018   No Comments

U.S. Tops All Destinations for India’s Engineering Products

Engineering Export Promotion Council of India — the apex body for Indian engineering exporters — says that the demand for Indian engineering goods in many of the developed economies and especially in the U.S. has increased sharply.

Shipments of engineering exports to the U.S. went up 91 percent to $1.53 billion in September 2017 from $551 million in the same month last fiscal year; the April-September exports increased by over 47 percent to $4.79 billion from $3.25 billion for the same period last year.

Gears

European nations falling under the top 25 engineering export destinations such as Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Poland also recorded considerable growth. Engineering exports to Germany saw a jump of over 67 per cent to $288 million in September 2017 over $172 million in the same month last fiscal. Likewise, the shipments to Italy rose by 30 percent to $209 million from $161 million for the same period last year, reports The Hindu.

 

November 8, 2017   No Comments

60 Global Food Brands to Set Up Outlets in India

More than 60 global food and beverage brands, including U.S.-based Planet Hollywood and pizza chain Little Caesar’s, Singapore-based Sarpino’s Pizzeria, Finland’s Hesburger, and Dubai-based Ice Cream Lab are planning to enter India, investing an estimated $1 billion and opening as many as 5,000 outlets over the next five years.

These brands are seeking local partners to take advantage of the $60 billion food services market in India, according to FranGlobal, the overseas arm of Franchise India Holdings Ltd.

“Planet Hollywood and the connection with Bollywood is a marriage made in heaven. The symmetry and compatibility between the two is very strong. We are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce our brands in this huge, exciting and dynamic marketplace,” Alex Garland, managing director for Europe, Middle East and Asia at Planet Hollywood, said.

A Burger

LiveMint reports that according to a joint report published by the National Restaurants Association of India and consulting firm Technopak Advisors the food services market in India is projected to reach $74 billion (Rs4.98 trillion) by 2021. The market is growing at an annual average rate of 10%.

November 7, 2017   No Comments