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E-spaces secures Innovate UK Edge grant to expand testing of its AI-powered teaching and assessment platform

E-spaces secures Innovate UK Edge grant to expand testing of its AI-powered teaching and assessment platform

EdTech startup is partnering with Sunderland Software City on the application of its software in schools and colleges in the North East

E-spaces, the AI-enabled teaching and assessment platform, has been awarded a Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) Grant by Innovate UK EDGE. E-spaces will use the grant to partner with Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley (Digital Catapult NETV) on the practical application and development of its BETA product in schools and colleges. 

Alongside designing the research, Digital Catapult NETV will also facilitate partnerships with various education providers in the region to trial e-spaces’ software. Gateshead College, a sixth-form college in Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, will be one of at least five schools or colleges taking part in the research.  

Founded in 2020 by former teacher Yvonne Buluma-Samba, e-spaces uses real-time data to automatically assesses, personalise and adapt learning in lessons, enabling immediate intervention and prediction of grades. The AI-enabled teaching and assessment platform allows students to answer planned questions, letting teachers make decisions in real time. The platform also helps to predict student grades based on the assessment data collected during ongoing class assessment.

The grant will be provided by Innovate UK EDGE, the business growth and scaling service of the UK’s national innovation agency. Innovate UK EDGE is a service which supports ground-breaking, ambitious innovation-driven businesses through advisory support and funding to facilitate access to infrastructure and expertise provided by Digital Catapult and RTOs.

RTOs are specialised, not-for-profit, and knowledge-focused organisations dedicated to the development and transfer of science and technology to the benefit of the economy and society. They include hubs, laboratories, testbeds, factories and offices for cutting edge R&D. The Catapult Network of technology and innovation centres funded by Innovate UK EDGE support businesses to transform great ideas into valuable products and services.

As part of the support, e-spaces will be able to explore and test new product ideas, seek technical expertise and specialist sector knowledge. The EdTech firm will also gain advice on regulatory and government processes. Innovate UK EDGE also offers access to networks of customers, services and funders, in addition to support around identifying opportunities for R&D, collaboration, and partnership building.

E-spaces will run BETA testing programmes with several schools, building upon e-spaces’ existing pilot programmes, which it has run with more than 100 teachers and 1,000 students to date.

Yvonne Buluma Samba, CEO of e-spaces: 

“We’re on a mission to reduce teacher burnout and attrition while increasing student engagement and performance across state, grammar, independent schools, and further education colleges. We’re developing cutting-edge technology for teachers by teachers that’s easy-to-use and makes a real difference to schools. This grant, and our subsequent partnership with Sunderland Software City, enables us work directly with schools to see how the latest version of our product works within classes on a larger scale than our pilot.”

Ashmita Randhawa, DPhil, Head of Innovation at Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley: 

“E-spaces aims to restore the joy of teaching and learning, helping to reduce teacher attrition and burnout while improving student engagement and performance. This mission is equally urgent and important. Digital Catapult NETV is therefore delighted to partner with e-spaces in working to address the needs of local educators through tech and innovation.” 

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