" /> Edinburgh startup secures UK space funds to support students — Edinburgh Innovations

Earth Blox has been awarded a share of £1.3m from the UK Space Agency

University of Edinburgh start-up Earth Blox has been awarded a share of £1.3m from the UK Space Agency, to support students and help them navigate the disruption to their education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This financial support is the latest accolade for Dr Genevieve Patenaude, who recently won the prestigious Converge Challenge and an Edge award for Earth Blox.

Dr Patenaude, Senior Lecturer at the School of Geosciences, has been working with and supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service, since January 2019.

The ‘Earth Blox for Education’ project

Earth Blox makes planetary-scale data analysis easy, and enables insights into the world and how it’s changing.

The ‘Earth Blox for Education’ project, led by Professor Iain Woodhouse, at the University of Edinburgh and Dr. Patenaude at Earth Blox, is backed by the UK Space Agency and will support students taking Earth Observation courses –  our next generation of climate change specialists, weather forecasters and digital pioneers.

Earth Blox will use its application to help remotely train the next group of Earth Observation (EO) specialists during the crisis while universities are unable to run computing classes in person. The application will support students at four participating universities: Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Open University, providing remote access to vast quantities of satellite data.

Over time the product will also be exportable, increasing the uptake of Earth Observation and remote sensing in other parts of the world.

Dr Genevieve Patenaude said:

“I am thrilled to receive this support from the UK Space Agency and to be part of such a timely and important project.

“Helping students continue their education despite the restrictions and unpredictability of the Covid pandemic will be extremely rewarding.”

Dr George Baxter, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Innovations said:

 “This is another well deserved accolade for Genevieve and Earth Blox.

“Earth Blox is a fantastic example of the kind of real world solutions Edinburgh Innovations facilitates.

“The depth of the talent and intellectual resource in Edinburgh is breath-taking and we are extremely proud of the part we play in making these exciting ideas a reality.”

The projects – set to receive £1.3m of funding – have been selected as part of a joint initiative between the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA) which has already provided one round of funding in July, worth £1.1 million, to companies developing space based solutions for issues created by COVID-19.

Initial funding went to three initiatives, including a drones company delivering test kits in Scotland and a project that uses space data to support vulnerable people through a mobile application.

Related Links

Earth Blox

EI services for students

UK Space Agency 

Scottish EDGE