“This gave me more confidence in what I can do and a stronger motivation to do it”

Keiko Nomura, August 3, 2021 2 min read

Originally from Japan, Keiko Nomura is a Machine Leaning specialist with a PhD from University of Edinburgh. She received her Global Talent Visa in 2020.

“My desire to work in the UK’s digital technology sector emerged as a natural progression from my experience as a PhD student in the UK, where I learned advanced applications of satellite data and machine learning technology from world-renowned scholars in the University of Edinburgh, Prof Edward Mitchard and Dr Genevieve Patenaude.

Living and working in the UK and surrounded by distinguished academic experts in this field, as well as exposure to dynamic space data technology companies in Edinburgh including Carbomap and Ecometrica, enabled me to quickly develop technical skills and further enhance my excitement about the potential of satellite data to transform people’s lives. This intellectually stimulating environment combined with a group of

friends I made over the years in Edinburgh led me to have a stronger motivation to keep engaging and actively contributing to the community of scientists and technologists in the UK.

Being recognised by Tech Nation was a strong affirmation of my skills and expertise, and how they could contribute to enhancing the UK’s position in the global digital economy. It also gave me more confidence in what I can do and a stronger motivation to do it.

I am currently working for an Edinburgh-based start-up company, Space Intelligence ltd. as their Senior Analyst and the first employee to join the founders. Space Intelligence is a Scottish AI and space data analytics company, which grew rapidly since I joined (within the space of 18 months they have grown to a team of 10 employees). Since I have worked there, we have passed incredible milestones, like winning several projects related to AI and big data from spaces in the UK and globally.

There have been many developments since I received my visa endorsement. The company I work for won several projects including biodiversity opportunity mapping and sustainable fisheries in Europe. I am currently working on land cover and forest carbon mapping of Tanzania and Brazil.

Without doubt, my proudest moment has been when I led a team to produce the first ever Scotland-wide high resolution habitat maps using AI.

If I was to give advice to someone thinking of applying for the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa, it would be to redefine your skills from the user’s and society’s perspective. What kind of benefits and changes would they bring? Think big and be ambitious!

The Tech Nation alumni network is very active and everyone I spoke to so far has been very friendly and supportive. It is a place for professional and personal connection. I strongly recommend making use of the network via the slack channel!

If you are considering the Global Talent Visa, reach out and talk to people, not just to get information you are looking for, but to exchange ideas that can be beneficial for both parties. You can ask for a 15-min ‘coffee chat’ via zoom for networking and possible collaboration in the future”.

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