A new KTP between the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and Novosound – a company selling sensors that push the limits of ultrasound imaging and measurement by utilising thin film technologies – aims to embed thin film design and optimisation capability in support of a new generation of advanced ultrasonic sensors.

Methods of manufacturing Ultrasound Sensors have not changed for over 40 years, resulting in several limitations – namely performance across extreme temperature, image quality, and flexibility. Dr DavHughes, Founding Director and CTO at Novosound, having spent over 1years researching ultrasound techniques, identified and patented a new method to manufacture ultrasound sensors using a new material that overcomes these limitations with similar performance to current technology.


The novel, printable, manufacturing process enables Novosound’s piezoelectric sensors to be a cost effective fit and forgesolution for continuous monitoring whilst operating consistently at extreme temperatures. The use of a thin film also has the flexibility to curve around pipes and welds


With this underlying patented technology, the business recently closed a £3.3 million investment round, involving Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund,, the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund, and £1.3 million from existing investors (including Par Equity and Kelvin Capital)


In order to improve the company’s sensor offering and create the world’s first commercial piezoelectric thin film ultrasound sensor with comparable acoustic output to current ultrasound sensors, Novosound needed to develop an in-house, commercial grade coating capability – and this is the focus of the KTP, funded by Innovate UK.


By transferring UWS’s deposition process knowledge into the company, the KTP is aimed at developing the current core sensor material for extreme volume manufacturing and performance. This will enhance current performance, reduce production costs and accelerate sales in existing industrial markets as well opening new growth market opportunities for ultrasonic sensors in medical imaging and wearables.


Dr Dave Hughes commented: “We are excited by the current growth of Novosound and the KTP is at the heart of our core sensor R&D. It is a great method of facilitating access to the world class facilities at the University of Scotland’s Institute of Thin Films Sensors and Imaging.


Dr Stuart McKay from UWS added “It’s great to see this IP, originally developed at UWS, being commercialised by Novosound. ITFSI, under the leadership of Professor Des Gibson, is a world-leading research group with industry-grade lab facilities that are currently being used to support no less than four KTPs across the UK”.

Over to Jim Berryman, KT Adviser at the Knowledge Transfer Network (one of the delivery partners of KTPs), for the last word: “With the enhanced technical capabilities being developed at Novosound through the KTP project with UWS the company’s future looks rosy – a view that is obviously shared by its backers, as evidenced in the latest funding round.  I look forward to seeing the potential being realised soon.”

If you think a collaboration with one of the UK’s world-class universities could help your company achieve positive impact, talk to one of our specialist advisers about whether a KTP could be the right mechanism.

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