Glasgow remote sensor innovator Novosound cheers business wins with global giants

Novosound, the Glasgow-based remote sensor specialist, has added global giants BAE Systems and GE Aviation to its roster after cheering a series of client wins.

The start-up firm, which is led by chief executive and co-founder Dave Hughes, said it had secured new business across the aerospace, oil and gas, and energy sectors.

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.”

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Founded in 2018, the company is responsible for a patented thin-film manufacturing process, which is said to eliminate conventional limitations in ultrasound sensors. it underpins the firm’s non-destructive testing products - the Kelpie, Belenus, and Nebula.

Heather Trodden, Dave Hughes, Derek Mathieson and Emma Loedel of Novosound. Picture: Stewart Attwood

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

Hughes said the onset of the pandemic had significantly increased demand for remote monitoring to advance safety and efficiency.

“It feels like we’ve seen about ten years of progress in the last 18 months alone,” he said. “The technology in the space hasn'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, the firm’s “knowledge transfer partnership” with the University of the West of Scotland was awarded the highest possible grade by Innovate UK, the UK’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 firm appointed Derek Mathieson, former chief marketing and technology officer at Baker Hughes, as its chairman. Also in 2020, Novosound appointed former BGF investment director Duncan Macrae as chief financial officer.

Mathieson earned a PhD in micro electro-mechanical systems and a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from the same institution.

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 funding round.

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.”

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