Pakistan’s first aerospace startup strives to apply tech in aviation

ISLAMABAD: National Incubation Centre for Aerospace Technologies (NICAT) is Pakistan’s first ever aerospace incubation centre, established in partnership with Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The NICAT is a joint venture between the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, Ignite (National Technology Fund), and National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP).
Imran Jattala, Project Director of NICAT, said while talking to WealthPK that the market size of global aerospace and defence industry is $697 billion, with commercial aerospace at $298 billion. He said Pakistan’s aerospace and defence market size is $8.7 billion. According to Boeing (aircraft industry company), there is demand for more than 43,500 new airplanes valued at $7.2 trillion through 2040.
Jattala said that NICAT will nurture private enterprises, for both commercial and defence aerospace/aviation of Pakistan. Domestic flight in Pakistan costs $0.064 per mile, whereas $0.049 per mile in the neighbouring countries. Pakistan has about 0.03 aircraft seats per person, in comparison with India (0.16), Nepal (0.11), and Bangladesh (0.04).
Jattala said that commercial aerospace can transform mobility, healthcare, agriculture, and emergency services. He said the NICAT will contribute towards high-tech manufacturing, job creation, peace, deterrence, protection, high-tech investments, technology spinoffs, spillovers, and the creation of an aerospace startup ecosystem.
The NICAT is led by NETSOL Technologies Inc., Pakistan’s premium IT company, in partnership with Air University, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra and Innovators Garage (IG), an innovation consulting company. NETSOL Technologies is operating in more than eight countries across the globe, with over 1,500 employees strategically located in multiple locations, and has been serving several Fortune 500 companies. NICAT brings together all the winning ingredients from industry and academia and is well poised to contribute towards the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan. It would undertake this transformation by empowering, connecting, and equipping Pakistani talent, by bringing together investors, innovators, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and talented youth of Pakistan.
The NICAT with strong government, industry, and academia linkages will help foster meaningful partnerships with aerospace, aviation and deeptech stakeholders, allowing startups to accelerate their growth.
The NICAT is an integral part of the NASTP, being developed as Pakistan’s first aerospace cluster and smart city. The NASTP is creating a world-class environment for bolstering the potential of excellence-driven and innovative minds of Pakistan.
NETSOL Technologies has been working with the government, academia, and corporates to build a thriving innovation economy in Pakistan. NETSOL in partnership with Innovators Garage (IG), Air University, and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra has built Pakistan’s premier Aerospace Centre of Excellence in the form of NICAT. Air University has 10,000 students across four campuses, with eminent academic and research faculty in aerospace, avionics, artificial intelligence, computing and mechatronics.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra is Pakistan’s premier aerospace manufacturer. Innovators Garage is on a mission to make Pakistan a top 50 innovative nation with a $500 billion innovation economy by 2030. Ignite funds startups and innovative projects that utilise fourth industrial wave tech to solve local problems and target global opportunities in health, education, energy, agriculture, telecom, finance, and other verticals.