A spin-out company from the University of the West of Scotland has secured a £1 million grant from Scottish Enterprise.
Novosound, based at the Biocity incubator outside Glasgow, will use the grant to rapidly scale up its research & development activity and will create 17 new positions in STEM disciplines – bringing the firm’s total staff to more than 30.
The company develops hi-tech sensors for industrial and medical markets and raised £1.5 million in seed funding in April 2018. Early-stage investors in Novosound include Par Equity, Kelvin Capital, the Scottish Investment Bank and Investing Women.
Founded by Dr Dave Hughes and Richard Cooper, Novosound has revolutionised ultrasound technology by replacing conventional sensor materials with a flexible piezoelectric thin-film.
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Commenting on the funding announcement, Dr Hughes said: “The global opportunity for Novosound is enormous with the ultrasonic market now valued at $45 billion and growing at over 10% every year, and this funding will allow us to scale up and significantly accelerate our R&D and production activity.
“As well as bolstering our existing R&D team, it allows us to create 17 new highly-skilled jobs for technical people with STEM skills, which we are looking to fill in the coming months. Currently, our R&D team is 50% female and we hope to build on this with the new recruits.”
Medical ultrasound technology was pioneered in Glasgow 60 years ago by Professor Ian Donald, who developed the technology for use in medical diagnostics – utilising industrial ultrasound equipment from nearby Babcock-Wilcox facility in Renfrew.
Dr Hughes added: “It is exciting that we are based just a few miles away from where Professor Ian Donald pioneered diagnostic ultrasound technology in the 1950s. At the time, he created truly revolutionary technology and our team is motivated to build on Scotland’s history of invention in medical imaging and ultrasound.
“This grant also enables us to create a medical sensors team at Novosound. NHS England alone carries out around nine million diagnostic ultrasound scans every year, and so the prospect within healthcare is exciting too. Here, our tech can create MR resolution images but without the cost. This is game-changing.”
David Smith, director of National Opportunities at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Novosound’s innovative work in developing ultrasound sensing technology for applications in the biomedical and industrial markets is really exciting. Since spinning out of the University of the West of Scotland, Novosound has made excellent progress.
“This £1 million grant from Scottish Enterprise will not only allow Novosound to increase its R&D capability but create 17 skilled jobs in the process.”