Earth blox

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Earth observation data specialist becomes a blockbuster startup

Earth Blox is a cloud-based software-as-a-service provider that empowers anyone, anywhere to create their own Earth observation and satellite data solutions.

Clients use Earth Blox's code-free Lego-like modular blocks to enable them to rapidly identify activities such as deforestation and mining, monitor a supply chain, manage post-disaster recovery and support nature-based innovation.

Without any specialist software skills, users can build their own data-analysis systems, calling on petabyte-scale planetary datasets provided by Google Earth Engine, and daily updates including images from the European Space Agency Sentinel satellites.

Earth Blox’s founder, Dr Genvieve Patenaude of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences, has been a client of Edinburgh Innovations since 2019. EI has provided a Virtual Board to the company and supported Dr Patenaude through successful applications to ICURe market discovery funding and Innovate UK funding to develop her technology and business.

Her startup has won a string of awards and built a roster of prestigious customers.

United Nations Environment Programme

Earth Blox launched its services in May 2020. It is already being used in a number of sectors including insurance, disaster response and conflict management. The United Nations Environment Programme is using Earth Blox for its work responding to climate-related conflict risks.

In October 2020 the company was awarded funding from the UK Space Agency, to support Earth observation students and help them navigate the disruption to their education caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Earth Blox for Education project, led by Professor Iain Woodhouse at the University of Edinburgh, and Dr Patenaude at Earth Blox, helped remotely train students taking Earth observation courses – our next generation of climate change specialists, weather forecasters and digital pioneers – during the Covid-19 crisis while universities were unable to run computing classes in person.

The application supported students at four universities: Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Open University, providing remote access to vast quantities of satellite data.

Also in October 2020, Earth Blox won a rare double victory in Scotland’s most prestigious enterprise awards, taking the biggest prize in Converge Challenge and a win at Scottish Edge.

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