IIT Madras and SARL Forge €100 Million Partnership to Elevate India's Aerospace and Defense Innovation Landscape

IIT Madras says that the aim is to create innovative startups and help them grow rapidly to work in tandem with future aerospace and New Space worldwide programs

CIOL Bureau
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IIT Madras

IIT Madras

French aerospace and defense company, Starburst Accelerator SARL, has announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) to establish a startup hub aimed at fostering innovation. The initiative, backed by a substantial funding of €100 million, seeks to bolster the Aviation, Space, and Defense (ASD) ecosystem in India.


The collaboration between Starburst Accelerator SARL and IIT Madras entails the establishment of accelerator programs to nurture startups within the ASD sector. This strategic move is expected to catalyze the transformation of India's economy, aligning it more closely with global stakeholders.

At the core of this partnership lies the creation of venture capital funds dedicated to ASD technology. By leveraging Starburst's extensive network, Indian startups will gain access to international markets, facilitating export promotion and broadening their horizons.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) sealing this collaboration was signed at the IIT Madras campus on Monday, the 25th of March 2024. Present at the signing were Mr. François Chopard, Founder and CEO of Starburst Aerospace, Mr. Cedric Vallet, Innovation and Venture Director at Starburst Aerospace, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, and Prof. Manu Santhanam, Dean (ICSR) at IIT Madras, along with representatives from both institutions.


Starburst Accelerator SARL, renowned globally for its expertise in the aerospace and defense sectors, boasts a network of over 17,000 startups across its offices in major cities worldwide. This vast experience positions Starburst as a valuable partner in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in India.

Expressing optimism about the collaboration, Mr. François Chopard stated, "We believe it is the right momentum to accelerate the emergence of pioneering technological innovations in India. We're proud to collaborate with IIT-Madras, aiming to create a robust ASD ecosystem supporting innovation and production in India."

A key focus of the partnership will be on nurturing entrepreneurs, fostering research initiatives, engaging with investors and corporates, and collaborating with the government. The overarching goal is to cultivate innovative startups capable of contributing to global aerospace and defense programs.


Emphasizing the significance of such collaborations, Prof. V. Kamakoti remarked, "Encouraging young entrepreneurs is vital for our journey towards becoming a multi-trillion-dollar economy. Collaborations like these are crucial in nurturing startups in critical and emerging sectors."

Through this initiative, startups will receive comprehensive support, including access to mentoring, workshops, and seminars. Moreover, structured programs combining academic knowledge with practical guidance will equip startups with the necessary tools to scale their businesses and attract external investments.

Projects under consideration as part of this collaboration include market analysis, innovation transformation, international expansion strategies, and investment due diligence, among others.