top of page

Space Park Leicester move for growing air quality monitoring firm

An air quality model combines data from satellites and Zephyr®.

A University of Leicester spinout created to tackle air pollution is moving to a new research and innovation centre launched to support the city’s fast-growing space industry.

EarthSense was formed to develop and launch new commercial services to provide better air quality monitoring services on the back of cutting-edge research.

Following year-on-year growth and a recruitment drive to bring the team up to 26, the company is now taking up a whole floor at the new Space Park Leicester – which has been led by the University of Leicester and been designed to enable collaboration between researchers and industry.

EarthSense was previously based at nearby DOCK, a hub for high tech, low carbon and innovative businesses, where it had shared office space, but the relocation will see the firm benefit from increased workspace as well as collaborative working with other private sector experts and academics.

EarthSense was developed following 15 years of research at the University of Leicester, eventually spinning out in 2016. Its scientists have created the Zephyr®, an air quality monitor designed to measure the real-time levels of harmful gases and particulates in ambient air and the high-resolution map of air pollution, MappAir®.

This air quality model combines data from satellites and Zephyr® air quality monitors together with a complex mix of other source data to provide critical information on air pollution on a global, national and city resolution.

EarthSense have also introduced MyAir®, an intuitive web application which allows its clients to view, analyse and download measured and modelled air quality data all in one platform.

Dr Roland Leigh, Technical Director of the company, said: “Our mission is to seamlessly provide the most detailed global air quality information, showing real-time exposure and actionable future forecasting to optimise decision making and mitigation, for the betterment of human health.”

Tom Hall, EarthSense’s Managing Director, added: “We have enjoyed recent growth during a challenging time and to enable us to continue to expand, we are becoming part of the Space Park Leicester community. We will not just benefit from the increased space, but also the opportunity to collaborate with other companies and academics from the university.”

In April, EarthSense received the Innovation award by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2021 following consistent 60 per cent annual company growth over a number of years.

Space Park Leicester has been designed to enable collaboration between the University of Leicester’s researchers and the private sector, creating high quality knowledge-based jobs, building the skills base, and contributing to economic growth and resilience of the economy

The project is being led by the University of Leicester in partnership with Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Professor Sarah Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College for Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, said: “As a university, we are proud of EarthSense and what the team has gone on to achieve and are delighted that they have chosen Space Park Leicester as the base for their expansion plans. We look forward to welcoming the EarthSense team as one of our first co-location partners.”

The University of Leicester is home to a dedicated Centre for Landscape and Climate Research, which undertakes extensive academic research into the most pressing issues affecting our planet’s future alongside industry partners, including EarthSense.

Space Park Leicester also hosts the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)-affiliated National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), which is internationally renowned for its work in tracking climate change and its impact on Earth.


bottom of page