Edinburgh firm’s space race gains pace thanks to new tech unit

Ecometrica, which won a significant contract from the UK Space Agency in 2015 to set up and co-ordinate a network of virtual regional Earth Observation Labs to help monitor the state of forests, agriculture and water resources, has agreed a £622k funding package through Clydesdale Bank’s new Emerging Technology Unit

An Edinburgh software company which gathers and analyses environmental data from space is planning a major expansion, with the help of Clydesdale Bank’s newly-launched Emerging Technology Unit (ETU).
Ecometrica, a sustainability software and data services specialist with offices in Edinburgh, London, Boston and Montreal, is the first in Scotland to benefit from the new ETU, which has been set up to support high-growth technology businesses.
The firm now plans to expand its team and target growth after agreeing a £622,000 funding package through the ETU, which is led by Clydesdale Bank’s Tom Brock.
Ecometrica, which was founded by Dr Richard Tipper, Gary Davis and Bertrand Revenaz in 2008, works across the environment and sustainability reporting industry as well as the rapidly growing downstream space sector.
It deciphers and combines data sent from satellites with traditional ground based data sets to enable more than 250 leading organisations, including FTSE 350 firms, to manage and monitor their environmental impacts, and increase overall business performance.
Last year, the firm won a significant contract from the UK Space Agency to set up and co-ordinate a network of virtual regional Earth Observation Labs to help monitor the state of forests, agriculture and water resources.
This major international project seeks to address a lack of usable data from the huge volume of images being sent to Earth from satellites. It followed a landmark contract win for the firm in 2014 from the European Space Agency to support satellite monitoring and evaluation of the UK’s International Climate Fund (ICF) forest activities.
CEO Gary Davis, said: “Support from Clydesdale Bank has given us the opportunity to recruit more heavily in Scotland, specifically across our sales and marketing teams, and beyond. It’s a buoyant time for our business, which has seen growth of more than 100% in the last year, and thanks to the funding arrangement now in place, we are confidently striding ahead with a host of new, exciting projects.”
Tom Brock, head of Clydesdale Bank’s ETU, said: “Being able to work hand-in-hand to help innovative businesses like Ecometrica grow is exactly why the Emerging Technology Unit was established. Ecometrica’s work is widely recognised for its contribution to the growing Scottish space economy and the business is already a leader in its field of specialism.
“The range of award-winning software products developed by Gary and the team at Ecometrica, which enable globally-recognised brands to adhere to environmental reporting guidelines, have a wide-reaching benefit not just for the business community but also for the world at large.”
The creation of Clydesdale Bank’s ETU is part of the bank’s partnership with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantee programme. This partnership will see up to £125 million of lending by Clydesdale Bank help small businesses reach their growth ambitions.
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