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Space Agency support

Patenaude’s latest accolade will help remote learning

Genevieve Patenaude

Genevieve Patenaude adds the space award to other recent accolades

Edinburgh University start-up Earth Blox has secured the backing of the UK Space Agency to help students navigate their way through the COVID-19 disruption.

The spin-out has been awarded a share of £1.3m to support students taking Earth Observation courses –  the next generation of climate change specialists, weather forecasters and digital pioneers.  

Earth Blox will use its application to help remotely train the next group 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.  

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The funding support is the latest accolade for Earth Blox founder Dr Genevieve Patenaude, who recently won the Converge Challenge and an Edge award.

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.

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 is led by Dr. Patenaude and Professor Iain Woodhouse, at the University of Edinburgh.

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

Dr 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.” 

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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.”



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