Japan wants to help startups looking toward the final frontier by injecting money which is why it has set aside almost $1 billion for this purpose. It’s also going to create a human resource hub to help those startups in their endeavors. The country is mulling a legal path as well which would allow for commercial development on the moon.
Japanese trade publication Nikkei reports that the country’s government is going to offer startups investments and loans for five years starting from fiscal 2018. It aims to double the scale of the space sector to around 2.4 trillion yen by the next decade.
It has already increased its investments in space startups over the years. The country poured money into Tokyo-based Ispace which wants to develop lunar resources as well as miniature satellite developer iQPS.
As part of this new initiative, fresh startups will be eligible for aid up to 10 million yen which will cover the cost of research and patent applications. Startups that show real promise will then be connected to investors and venture capitalists. The startups that reach development stage will have access to the pool of 100 billion yen offered by bodies which include the Development Bank of Japan and the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan.
The report also mentions that the government is mulling enacting laws which will allow businesses to own plots of lunar land that they will begin commercial development on. The UN’s Outer Space Treaty does not forbid commercial development and land ownership on the moon.
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