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Global client wins accelerate growth for Scottish sensor startup
Heather Trodden, Dave Hughes, Derek Mathieson and Emma Loedel of Novosound (by Stewart Attwood). Supplied/Novosound
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Global client wins accelerate growth for Scottish sensor startup 

A Scottish remote sensor company has secured a series of global customer wins across the aerospace, oil and gas, and energy sectors.  

The Glasgow-based startup Novosound’s new clients include major industry players BAE Systems and GE Aviation.  

Chief executive and co-founder Dave Hughes, who featured on a panel at the Boeing Innovation Forum in Glasgow earlier this month, said: “The team and I are really pleased to see our work in ultrasonics converting into sales with so many international industrial groups, including in the aerospace sector, and we look forward to a series of additional corporate milestone announcements over the coming weeks and months.”

Founded in 2018, Novosound’s patented thin-film manufacturing process, which eliminates conventional limitations in ultrasound sensors, underpins the company’s pioneering non-destructive testing (NDT) products – the Kelpie, Belenus, and Nebula.  

The firm’s Kelpie sensor flexes, twists and bends to inspect difficult shapes and surfaces, the Belenus continually monitors corrosion at high temperatures, and the Nebula is a cloud-based platform that securely stores and reports client asset data.

All three utilise the latest so-called thin film deposition technologies to produce the end product – unique 3D-printed ultrasound sensors. 

Hughes said the onset of Covid-19 has significantly increased demand for remote monitoring to advance safety and efficiency.

He said: “It feels like we’ve seen about ten years of progress in the last 18 months alone. The technology in the space hadn’t really moved on much over the last few decades, and we’re now showing that we can move the dial and add significant value across a number of industry sectors.  It’s also notable that Scotland is starting to build an ecosystem in remote sensors, and we’re proud to be part of the growing Internet of Things scene here.” 

In April, Novosound’s ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnership’ with the University of the West of Scotland was awarded the highest possible grade by Innovate UK, the nation’s innovation agency.  

Also in April, the company won its first major international award, for its Belenus product at the 2021 Materials Performance Corrosion Innovation of the Year Awards.   

Last year, the company appointed Dr Derek Mathieson, former chief marketing and technology officer at Baker Hughes, as its chairman.  

Mathieson said: “Novosound is already gaining traction with some of the world’s largest industrial brands, and the next phase of growth for the company will centre around continuing to scale operations, raising the profile of the business across global markets, and increasing sales.”

Also in 2020, Novosound appointed former BGF investment director Duncan Macrae as chief financial officer. 

In December 2019, Novosound, originally a spin-out from the University of the West of Scotland, secured a £3.3 million investment round led by private equity investment management firm Foresight Group (via the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund). Par Equity, Kelvin Capital, Gabriel Investments and Scottish Enterprise also participated in the round. 

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