Partners - CIUS - Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions
Partners and collaborations
Partners and collaborations
CIUS has partnered with important cornerstone enterprises, SMEs, academic institutions and the health care sector
Sensorlink’s main objective is to provide products which allow our customers to meet the demands for asset integrity monitoring in the modern oil and gas industry. Sensorlink specialises in innovative solutions for pipeline integrity management, in particular systems for effective and reliable corrosion/erosion monitoring and wall thickness measurements. UltraMonit® is a clamp-on subsea tool containing ultrasonic transducers which allow online access to highly accurate corrosion data. PipeMonit® is a lighter version for topside and onshore applications.
Being an SME, Sensorlink is dependent on core technology development taking place outside the company. We see CIUS as a tool to achieve two of the company's long term objectives: First to leverage the innovation potential and new technological opportunities arising by industry-academic collaborations; and secondly ensure the qualification of future personnel through the education of MSc students and PhD candidates in CIUS.
Our main contribution to the centre will be through defining user requirements providing the framework conditions for the research; specifically what needs to be achieved to meet future market requirements. Further, Sensorlink will act as a test and validation host where new technology can be tested to validate usability and performance of innovations.
InPhase Solutions is a technology development and consulting company providing ultrasound, acoustic, and signal processing solutions within oil & gas, medical, and industrial technologies. We mainly serve the Norwegian ultrasound industry, but have recently attracted large international companies.
InPhase is currently developing technology for wireless power and data transfer using ultrasound, in both solid constructions and biological tissue. This technology can be used to wirelessly power and communicate data to and from sensor devices in for example oil & gas and maritime installations, or medical implants, without the need for electrical leads or feedthroughs. Working with CIUS will be instrumental for us in taking this technology to the next level as the CIUS consortium brings together potential end users, technology manufacturers, and R&D competence at all levels for advancing this technology into the market place.
The InPhase team has a solid R&D background from medical ultrasound matched with industrial experience, and a comprehensive overview of ultrasound technology in both industrial and medical applications. Our contribution to CIUS will be our broad cross-sector knowledge, and our aim to develop solutions for wireless power and data transfer using ultrasound, and to integrate them into commercial products.
Halfwave delivers advanced ultrasound-based pipeline inspection services to the oil & gas industry that allows our customers to make informed decisions to maintain the integrity of their critical assets. Key to our offering is the patented ultra-wideband Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART), providing penetration and measurement capabilities exceeding existing inspection technologies.
We have established ART as a superior technology for pipeline & subsea inspection, and Halfwave’s highly qualified team continues to develop the advantages of the ART platform to commercialise its high potential. In this respect CIUS is instrumental and provides creative expertise, which when paired with Halfwave’s industry knowledge and engineering solutions increases the probability of success significantly in our ongoing effort to establish the ART technology as the preferred industry solution.
Our contribution to CIUS is our knowledge, funding for development projects, and relevant laboratory facilities both for subsea and gas applications. Our main fields of interest within CIUS are advanced acoustics in pipes and risers, transducer technology in harsh environments, and signal processing/machine learning for our applications.
Equinor (former Statoil) is a Norwegian-based energy company with operations in more than 30 countries. Since 1972 we have explored, developed and produced oil and gas on the Norwegian continental shelf, where we are a leading operator. From the early 1990s we have built a global business, with strongholds in Europe, Africa, North America and Brazil.
Ultrasound is an important tool used for asset integrity monitoring and well integrity inspection within the oil & gas industry. Statoil joined CIUS to support development of next-generation downhole logging tools and new asset integrity monitoring technology based on ultrasound, to ensure best practice in our operations. An important goal for us is to improve the quality of casing cement integrity verification or sealing material through well logging, and to improve quality and subsequently decision-making in asset integrity monitoring.
Statoil brings 45 years of operating experience in the oil & gas industry and the end-user needs and requirements, which new ultrasound technology must meet. We support CIUS with knowledge, data, funding, and laboratories for developing and testing new technologies.
Archer is a global oil service company with a heritage that stretches back over 40 years. With a strong focus on safety and delivering the highest quality products and services, Archer operates in 40 locations across 19 countries providing drilling services, well integrity & intervention, plug & abandonment, and decommissioning to its upstream oil and gas clients. Our subsidiary, Bergen Technology Center, develops, manufactures and sustains state-of-the-art logging services that provides Archer Wireline with a leading position within Well Integrity Diagnostics.
Development of next-generation downhole logging technology is an important part of Archer’s strategy for future growth, and a long-term relation with NTNU through CIUS is an enabling factor for new-to-the-world well-logging technology development. We believe that adaptation and development of medical ultrasound transducer technology, electronics and signal processing has an unexplored potential for new products and services for evaluation of well integrity and performance. A research-intensive and cross-disciplinary centre as represented by CIUS, will nurture new ideas within ultrasound well applications, and provide opportunities to investigate ideas which would be unthinkable in an industry-funded project.
We bring significant experience of transferring medical ultrasound to the oil & gas industry. We have lab and test facilities, and a flexible technology platform, which allows for rapid verification of new sensors, algorithms and applications. As an industrial partner in CIUS, we will take these efforts to a new level.
Kongsberg Maritime AS is a high-tech company in the maritime electronics with subsidiaries in several countries. The Subsea department in Horten develop and produce ultrasonic products for the world market: acoustic positioning and data transfer underwater, echo-sounder and sonar for the fisheries, multibeam echo-sounders for mapping of the seabed, sonars for military applications, underwater environmental monitoring systems and underwater robotics AUV.
We believe there are major synergies in ultrasound R&D between the industrial partners from medical imaging, oil & gas and the maritime sector within CIUS. It is difficult for a company to perform long-term basic research without the type of collaboration that CIUS offers. The wide range of expertise within the CIUS consortium has the potential to make a significant contribution to the development of new and improved sensors, and imaging systems for the maritime sector and our products.
Our participation in CIUS, combining the expertise and experience of its academic research partners, and the R&D departments of the corporate partners, will be a significant boost for our basic and applied research and innovation within acoustic sensor systems and new imaging methods. Our extensive knowledge of underwater acoustics and advanced measurement equipment, and underwater acoustic measuring laboratories, will be made available for research activities in CIUS.
GE Vingmed Ultrasound is a world leader in ultrasound systems for medical applications and is a Center of Excellence for ultrasound technology in GE Healthcare, a division of the General Electric Company. Continued innovation is a key part of our business model: Our goal is to establish new solutions to clinical challenges to improve our customers’ productivity and diagnostic capabilities through innovation. This is the enabler for gaining market share and for opening new markets.
We have cooperated with NTNU and the Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, the CIUS host, since the late 1970s. This collaboration has been an important part of our R&D strategy since the beginning. As a Norwegian actor in a global and highly competitive market, our strategy is to work in close collaboration with academic research institutions and partners to build the necessary expertise and technology foundation to secure innovative ultrasound products for the future. These are central goals in our current R&D plans. With corporate partners from both maritime, and oil & gas, CIUS represents a unique opportunity for utilisation and synergy of basic ultrasound research for a wide area of applications. Our focus for the engagement in CIUS, is research in and development of basic ultrasound technology, for improved image quality, blood flow measurements and quantification.
We will provide state-of-the-art expertise in ultrasound technology for scanner and probes, as well as deep knowledge within imaging and diagnostics applications. Our organisation has a large network of leading international research sites and clinics globally, and deep knowledge of medical applications of ultrasound.
AUROTECH ultrasound AS develops ultrasound systems and offers high-end digital ultrasound scanners to OEM and license partners. AUROTECH ultrasound AS technology platform MANUS is unique and combines flexibility, image quality, and size with low manufacturing cost. The high degree of modularity and flexibility in the architecture makes the technology easy to adapt to new applications and products. The market can be both medical products and applications, and products for industrial use.
The long term ambition is to become the number one technology partner for high quality ultrasound engines. This ambition entails that we have to be in front of the technological development of ultrasound scanner front-end technology.
Participating in CIUS opens a possibility to develop skills based on a unique combination of research and different industries with common technology fields. We want to enrich AUROTECH ultrasound AS knowledge to develop the MANUS technology for future needs. We hope to benefit from the CIUS research activities related to new beamforming strategies for use in high frequency and high-resolution ultrasound.
We bring expertise in ultrasound hardware design and manufacturing, with deep knowledge on extreme efficiency in field-programmable gate array (FPGA) implementation in ultrasound scanner front-end technology.
Medistim’s mission over the past three decades has been to serve patients, surgeons and healthcare providers with innovative and cost-effective medical devices that measure blood flow and visualise atherosclerosis, and thereby help improve the quality and outcome of cardiac and vascular surgery. Our main business area is quality control of cardiac surgical procedures utilising ultrasound imaging, transit-time and Doppler technology. We offer equipment for the cardiac surgeon to document surgical procedures. Our products are sold in 65 countries across all continents.
The main objective for our participation in CIUS is to secure future innovation in the areas of ultrasound transducers for surgical applications, and to explore novel ways to utilise ultrasound imaging for the cardiovascular surgeon. In the long term we consider a close relationship with CIUS, represented by academic, healthcare user partners, and corporate partners from various sectors a significant advantage for the future development of our business.
Medistim brings the following fields of expertise to CIUS: Ultrasound technology, including probe technology, invasive probes, design for sterilisation and biocompatibility, analogue electronics, digital electronics, software design principles for real-time systems, user interface design and clinical knowledge within our area.
EXACT Therapautics is a Norwegian biotech company spun out from GE Healthcare in 2013, currently developing a technology platform for targeted drug delivery – Acoustic Cluster Therapy (ACT®). ACT® is a unique approach to ultrasound mediated, targeted drug delivery – capable of enhancing significantly the clinical utility of a wide range of therapeutic molecules and nano-drugs for a wide range of clinical indications.
In order to make the ACT® technology clinically available, basic research, particularly within transducer technology and other scanner software/hardware interfaces is required and must be transferred to a commercial scanner platform. To facilitate this, EXACT Theraupautics will need access to and collaboration with the broad variety of ultrasound technology experts as offered by the CIUS consortium.
EXACT Therapautics is located at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator in Oslo. The formal qualifications of our staff include ultrasound physics, chemistry, pharmaceutics and chemical engineering, all at PhD-level. Our knowledge will be made available to the CIUS community.
X-FAB is a world leading foundry group for analog/mixed-signal semiconductor and MEMS applications, and creates a clear alternative to typical foundry services by combining solid, specialized expertise on advanced analog and mixed-signal process technologies with excellent service, a high level of responsiveness and first-class technical support. X-FAB manufactures wafers for medical, automotive, industrial, consumer, and other applications on modular complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm.
The cross-application approach in CIUS ranging from medical, sonar, and oil & gas industries offers the chance to do research and exploit synergies and similarities in the different ultrasound applications, which is crucial to establish a world-leading center for ultrasound solutions. CIUS and its focus on novel ultrasound technology solutions, is an excellent fit with X-FAB's “More than Moore” approach, which has the goal of exploiting existing technology platforms for advanced and complex applications like ultrasound for next-generation ultrasound systems. The close collaboration between X-FAB and CIUS partners will be the base for future technology improvements and technical extensions to serve different ultrasound applications.
X-FAB is offering a novel foundry process enabling the modular combination of state-of-the-art 0.18 µm CMOS with dielectric isolated, high-voltage devices suitable for special applications like ultrasound imaging. This technology offers the integration of a high number of ultrasound channels as well as the possibility to integrate the analog-to-digital conversion and the data processing in one chip, which could be the base for high-end ultrasound systems with increased image quality and performance. CIUS offers a unique chance of collaboration to which X-FAB will contribute with its deep technology knowledge and process experience for analog/mixed-signal semiconductor applications.
ReLab was founded in 2018 and springs directly out of CIUS. We have formed our business plan through extensive collaboration with CIUS partners: ReLab aims to be Norway’s first designer and manufacturer of ultrasound transducers for both the Norwegian and international ultrasound market.
In ReLab, we have continuous dialog with several Norwegian ultrasound companies, and through them, we have learned that the international manufacturers rely heavily on manual labor in their production lines. However, we believe that the single-element transducer can be manufactured using semi-automated or automated production methods. Because of this, the current cost level for the ultrasound transducer seems overpriced. When successful at implementing semi-automated or fully automated production lines, we will be able to compete with, and possibly outprice, the international manufacturers.
Besides production, the Norwegian ultrasound market relies on R&D consultancy with respect to their transducer and associated design and testing. ReLab’s second source of income is related to this activity, which range from transducer design, prototyping, small-scale manufacturing, to investigations of our customers’ products. We can offer such services because we have access to the highly modern laboratories at the University of South-Eastern Norway.
Health sector partners
Health sector partners
Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust (Helse Nord-Trøndelag) comprises Levanger Hospital and Namsos Hospital, has approximately 3000 employees and provides hospital services as well as special health care services to the population of Nord-Trøndelag. The main responsibilities are to examine and treat patients, educate patients and their families, teach and do research.
As a partner in CIUS, Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust will facilitate and contribute with patient recruitment, clinical assessment and reference imaging in studies in WP6 (Ubiquitous ultrasound), as well as recruitment of inexperienced users of diagnostic ultrasound. The staff at the cardiac department is highly skilled in cardiology and cardiac imaging, and the personnel have conducted several research projects in this area previously. Together with Trondheim University hospital, we will be responsible for the carrying-out of clinical studies.
In addition, Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust conducts research both at a national and international level, thereby contributing to better understanding of underlying mechanisms for health and disease, and the development of better health services. The Hospital Trust has a research department that offers research infrastructure and guidance to researchers, and that is always motivated to facilitate more research.
The Department of Medical Imaging and Circulation at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology is proud to host the SFI CIUS. NTNU has the main responsibility for higher education in technology in Norway, and at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences there is a close collaboration between technologists and clinicians. Ultrasound research has a long tradition at NTNU, and the SFI CIUS continues the work started in the early 1970s within ultrasound technology development and implementation in clinical practice. Indeed, the Norwegian medical ultrasound company Vingmed AS emerged from this research in 1977.
The SFI CIUS bridges the gap between academia, health service providers and the industry, and provides a framework for long-term collaborations, which is important to further NTNU’s long-term goals of increased innovation in academia, and enabling and preparing masters and PhD students for careers within development and innovation with the ultimate goal of creating new industries/work places. For NTNU, CIUS also represents continuation of the first generation SFIs: MI-Lab which resulted in GE’s pocket ultrasound scanner, VScan, for instance.
NTNU contributes leading academic expertise covering several areas of ultrasound technology, state of the art laboratories, a close collaboration with departments at St. Olavs hospital (Trondheim university hospital) and administrative support to CIUS. NTNU recognises the importance of the SFI CIUS for continuation of NTNU’s ultrasound legacy in close collaboration with relevant industry, academic and user partners, and looks forward to the emerging results.
The SINTEF Group is the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia. Based on the vision “Technology for a better society”, SINTEF provides research-based knowledge with the purpose of strengthening the industrial competitive power and stimulating new industrial activity, and performs services for the public sector. SINTEFs research projects include international collaboration with many industry partners and academic institutions. SINTEF Technology and Society is one of seven research divisions within SINTEF and is a multidisciplinary research institute that operates in the fields of science and technology, and the social sciences.
SINTEF has a close and strategic collaboration with NTNU and St. Olavs Hospital within the field of medical technology. The Research group Medical Technology develops new technology that offers patients more reliable diagnoses and improved treatment, and based on the health sector’s needs, we help to create new industrial activity. Our strength lies in our long lasting close collaboration with clinicians, our user-driven innovation, and our experience in ultrasound-based research, development within diagnostics and image-guided interventions, and navigation technology applied in various clinical applications, in collaboration with both the health sector and industry, since 1995.
The Digital Signal Processing and Image Analysis (DSB) group at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo is part of CIUS and responsible for WP2: Acoustics and Beamforming.
Our participation in CIUS is in line with the ongoing project MEDIMA (Multimodal medical imaging and image analysis) which is a strategic research initiative by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science. The University of Oslo has also invested in our facilities in the form of a sonar and ultrasound lab with a research ultrasound scanner. The Horizon 2020 project "Force: Imaging the force of cancer" where elastography is central, is also related to CIUS.
These projects build on work we have done in ultrasound imaging and acoustics for decades and also the NFR project "High resolution imaging and beamforming" (2008-2012) with Kongsberg Maritime as a partner. In that project we also worked actively to cross over ideas from ultrasound imaging to sonar imaging as we do in CIUS. The work with Kongsberg Maritime is on-going and is now taking place in the framework of an Industrial PhD.