Seed funding for Fraunhofer IKTS spin-off Nicoustic

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Fraunhofer IKTS spin-off Nicoustic secures 25 MNOK (~2.3 m€) for piloting a vessel level monitoring system. The non-intrusive technology is based on Guided Ultrasonic Waves.

© Fraunhofer IKTS

The funding consists of soft funding granted by the Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway, a convertible loan provided by Equinor Ventures, and an equity investment made by CoFounder, Fraunhofer Venture, employees and local investors.

”We are excited about the speed of Nicoustic in generating valuable leads into the market and securing funding for the next steps“ – says Christian Wunderlich, Deputy Institute Director at Fraunhofer IKTS.

“Equinor Ventures is encouraged by the progress the team has made in the few months since the inception of the company. The pipeline of potential applications for the technology is growing continuously and we look forward to the piloting and technology qualification phases” – says Lars Klevjer, Head of Equinor Ventures.

The funding will be used to finance R&D, trials, and business development efforts necessary to release the final commercial product and to add new features that will provide added value and business opportunities as well as to secure a broad market penetration.

Nicoustic sensor technology has created a lot of traction with the future customers in the industry since the company was founded in June 2022 based on many years of research at Fraunhofer IKTS and an innovation challenge formulated by Equinor. Accurate measurement of levels in process vessels is a challenge in many applications, ranging from separation and storage vessels on offshore oil & gas platforms to process vessels in biorefineries. The challenge can be explained by the fact that probes and sensors that need to be mounted on the inside of process equipment are subject to harsh conditions and thus are prone to failures. Installing and maintaining intrusive level measurement systems also requires process shutdown – a challenge, considering that this is only performed once in several years for many applications. A non-intrusive level measurement system from Nicoustic does not have these drawbacks.

“We are extremely proud to have partners like Equinor, Fraunhofer IKTS and CoFounder supporting us to bring Nicoustic's game-changing technology to the global market in 2024. With the new funding in place, we are able to further strengthen our team and accelerate the commercialization process” – says Jan Biti, CEO of Nicoustic. 

About Nicoustic AS

Nicoustic is a spin-off company from Fraunhofer IKTS in Dresden. The company has the ambition to become a global provider of acoustic level monitoring and integrity solutions for pressure vessels, allowing operators to reduce maintenance costs, optimize production and improve safety.


About CoFounder AS

CoFounder provides management resources and capital to early-stage technology companies in Norway. CoFounder has broad experience in the commercialization of new technologies from R&D institutes, universities and larger corporations. Co-Founder is financially backed by KLP – the largest pension fund in Norway.


About Fraunhofer IKTS

The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS conducts applied research on high-performance ceramics. Furthermore, the work focuses on services and research cooperations for materials and components testing, structural health monitoring, nano-analysis and sensorics as well as biotechnological and environmental techniques. As a research and technology service provider IKTS offers methods, sensors and devices for different kinds of non-destructive testing (NDT).


About Fraunhofer Venture

Fraunhofer Venture is the central department for spin-offs and investment management of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and offers founders, start-ups, industry and investors access to the cutting-edge technologies of the 76 Fraunhofer Institutes, the Fraunhofer infrastructure and Fraunhofer know-how with over 7,600 patent families through a comprehensive support program. The range of services includes complete support and consulting from the idea to the founding of a company, active participation management of Fraunhofer participations, support with finding investors up to a possible sale of the company.


About Equinor Ventures

Equinor Ventures is Equinor's corporate capital venture arm dedicated to investing in ambitious early-phase and growth companies. Equinor Ventures believe that the innovation, creativity and agility of start-ups can drive the change and transition towards a low-carbon future.