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Trade in Space share insights from ECCI's career enhancement programme

Joint delivered by ECCI, NERC and SAGES, the ECCI Innovation Consultancy Programme is a pioneering career enhancement opportunity for NERC and SAGES postgraduate students. The programme matches students with a wide range of organisations to provide meaningful research work opportunities for the students, and top class research and consultancy resources for the businesses.

In the second in our series of 2018/19 case studies we hear from fast-growing Fintech innovators Trade in Space and PhD student Charlie Bunce, currently on the Edinburgh Earth and Environment Doctoral Training Partnership at the University of Edinburgh.

The match

Trade in Space are at the forefront of the Global Fintech Sector, developing new financial services products with data collected by satellites. Founder, Robin Sampson's 10+ years as an expert in satellite technology has helped the business identify new ways of trading agriculture around the world.

Charlie Bunce is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences and part of the NERC E3 DTP programme. The programme provides an outstanding research environment with world-leading researchers and research facilities, bringing together 28 partners and more than 200 supervisors with research expertise spanning the full spectrum of earth and environmental sciences.

The project

With her specific knowledge of earth observation imagery analysis, statistical pixel classification methods and cartographic techniques, Charlie was asked to support the classification of coffee plantations from satellite images to aid in development of products to sell to a coffee industry stakeholder. Over the course of the 15 day placement she developed a classification tool to identify coffee from satellite images.

The impact

Trade in Space founder Robin Sampson said: “We found our placement student to be extremely capable and able to work towards solving a real, and high pressure business problem from day one.

It wouldn't have been possible for us to complete this work in a timescale that would have satisfied our customer without Charlotte's expert input, and therefore we would have lost an extremely valuable commercial opportunity.

We are extremely grateful to Charlie, NERC & SAGES and University of Edinburgh for supporting this project.”

PhD student Charlie Bunce said: "The placement enabled me to improve my coding ability, my knowledge of satellite applications and data and report writing.

Working with Trade In Space also provided me with great connections and skills and exposure to industry partners."

Want to know more?

The ECCI Innovation Consultancy Programme programme enabled business and policy engagement by matching students with businesses, boosted impact and innovation skills by delivering skills and industry workshops and deepened sector knowledge to support impact and end user experience.