Software firm Ecometrica wins £14.2m Space Agency contract

Published: 06 February 2017

Edinburgh based software company Ecometrica has won a £14.2m contract from the UK Space Agency to help protect tropical forests. We spoke to Executive Chairman and co-founder Richard Tipper...

Briefly tell us about Ecometrica?

Ecometrica started out in 2008 and now supports organisations and governments in all aspects of sustainability planning, operations and reporting.

Operating costs are relatively low in the Scottish capital and the quality of life for staff is probably higher than alternatives like London. It also allows us to ‘filter out the noise’ and focus strategically on planning for growth.

Richard Tipper, executive chairman and co-founder , Ecometrica

 

The Ecometrica platform, a web-based environmental accounting and sustainability management solution, combines earth observation data from satellites with local information and business intelligence.

This brings clarity to environmental and natural resource challenges facing corporates and governments alike. It makes the terabytes of raw data being sent to Earth by satellites easily accessible, bringing limitless possibilities for its application and providing clarity and illumination on environmental impacts. This is a huge growth area and our sales grew 132% last year. 

The Ecometrica platform combines earth observation data from satellites with local information and business intelligence.

Why base yourself in Edinburgh?

The three founders – myself, Chief Executive Gary Davis and Chief Product Officer Bertrand Revenaz – all worked at the same company in Edinburgh before starting Ecometrica. We now have offices in London, Boston and Montreal.

Operating costs are relatively low in the Scottish capital and the quality of life for staff is probably higher than alternatives like London. It also allows us to ‘filter out the noise’ and focus strategically on planning for growth. 

Tell us about your recent UK Space Agency project?

The UK Space Agency's International Partnership Programme (IPP) Forests 2020 project, builds on our expertise of applying satellite data to situations on the ground. The project will improve the management and protection across 300 million hectares of tropical forests. That's almost 40 times the size of Scotland. We hope that the improved techniques will save more than 4 million hectares that would otherwise be lost. 

It's a significant contract win, which establishes Ecometrica as a leading international provider of digital infrastructure for earth observation services: It follows our earlier success in leading the UK Space Agency's International Partnership Space Programme (IPSP) in 2015/16, which created a network of virtual regional Earth Observation Labs in Brazil and Mexico to develop suitable products for the forest sector. 

Ecometrica started out in Edinburgh in 2008 and now has offices in London, Boston and Montreal.

What's your vision for this project and your business? 

Forests 2020 builds on our expertise from previous contracts, and we expect to keep learning from a project like this. It will allow us to tackle technological challenges relating to the detection of changes to forests, the measurement of risk, and the digital infrastructure needed to use our platforms in the field.

As our understanding, techniques and infrastructure improve, we’ll be able to offer more and better services to help tackle some very major issues facing the world – from protecting the environment and biodiversity to ensuring sufficient crop yields in a changing climate.

 

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

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