Japan wants to formally encourage domestic startups to pursue the growing opportunities in commercial space. The Japanese government has earmarked around $1 billion in public funds to startups working on space solutions. At the same time, the government revealed that it's working on a legal path towards establishing commercial development on the moon.
This is a big injection in the private space race, and the funds will be allocated both as investments and as loans, spanning five years and beginning during this fiscal year. The goal is to boost the Japanese space business, hoping to help amplify its growth and propel it to a 2.4 trillion yen ($22.5 billion) market by the beginning of the 2030s, per the Nikkei.
Startups that qualify will be able to receive aid of up to 10 million yen per company, or around $100,000 U.S., for things like research costs and the price of applying for patents.
Japanese space startup ispace applauded the move in a statement provided to TechCrunch.
“Not only will this move improve the competitiveness of the Japanese private space sector, but it will have positive implications for the sector globally. We believe this will be remembered as a turning point for our burgeoning industry," wrote ispace founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada. "Further, investments in the space industry ultimately benefit society on Earth through the vast number of innovations that develop as a result."
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.