Bangalore: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Saturday named Dr V S Hegde, a veteran remote sensing applications scientist, as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director for its marketing arm Antrix Corporation Limited.

Hegde has been serving Bangalore-headquartered ISRO as its Scientific Secretary since January, 2010 and previously played a key role for several years in its Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) programmes.

His appointment, announced by ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, is part of plans to restructure Antrix in changing times so that it can aggressively exploit commercial opportunities emanating out of the space agency's programmes.

Interface between ISRO and Antrix would now be strengthened with the constitution of a coordination management committee comprising a few senior directors of ISRO and CMD of Antrix.

"This will ensure right kind of sharing of resources, right kind of allocation of resources, experts and priorities for Antrix," Radhakrishnan said at a press conference here.

Antrix, established in 1992, is engaged in promotion and commercial exploitation of space products, technical consultancy services and transfer of technologies developed by the space agency.

A 'Miniratna', it provides space products and services to customers worldwide. Radhakrishnan said Antrix would look at the possibility of also venturing into "value-creation" from just being in "value-transfer" business now. How to improve the technology transfer process from ISRO for non-space applications is going to be another major activity for Antrix going forward.

Antrix would now put together a board comprising ISRO functionaries, and those from industry and academia, officials said.

Hegde, Founder-Director of Karnataka Remote Sensing Centre and Vice-President of International Astronautical Federation, acknowledged that Antrix's share in the USD 160 billion global space market is just USD 200 million (around Rs 1,000 crore), which is "minuscule".

But he stressed that there were tremendous opportunities for it to leverage ISRO's capabilities and "experience" of Indian space programme and make a mark globally.

V Koteswara Rao, Director of ISRO's Laboratory for Electro Optical Systems who had been with the Low Earth Observation Satellites (LEOS) programme since inception, was named the new ISRO Scientific Secretary. Rao also served as Project Director of Astrosat programme for some time.

H N Madhusudana, who served as Executive Director of Antrix from September last year, was made ISRO's Associate Scientific Secretary.


READ MORE: ISRO to take foreign satellite on rent