The University of Edinburgh has been handed a major boost for its space data research credentials, writes Scott Wright.

The institution will train 50 space scientists after being named co-host of the Centre for Doctoral Training. Each of the PhD students will work on research projects to help tackle climate change.

Programme lead Ed Mitchard said: “That’s a whole generation of people who we hope will go into industry and academia in the UK to help train more.

"Each of those 50 students will work on a specific problem using advanced machine learning, artificial intelligence and satellite data to come up with 50 solutions to climate change.”

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The university, which will run the six year programme with the University of Leeds, secured the funding on the strength of its growing reputation for space data research. It recently launched a podcast to promote its work across the industry and its ambition for the city to become the space data capital of Europe.

Murray Collins, space lead at the university’s innovation hub, the Bayes Centre, said: “Winning the Centre for Doctoral Training – co-funded by the UK Space Agency and the Natural Environment Research Council – is a huge indication of our expertise in this area.

“Dr Ed Mitchard is a world-leading expert - he and some of our other university colleagues are currently working with the European Space Agency to develop a brand new satellite sensor to measure the biomass of forests. This kind of research will help us map the most carbon-rich forests, and support their conservation. This is vital to mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss".

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