CLF Spin-off Company Cobalt Bought by U.S Tech Giant, Agilent Technologies
09 Aug 2017
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- Helen Towrie

 

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We are pleased to announce that Cobalt, a spinoff company which originated in the CLF, and which markets technology using Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS), has been acquired by Agilent Technologies, a U.S. company.

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​​​Cobalt Light Systems:​ Insight200M

 


CLF Spin-off Company Cobalt Bought by U.S Tech Giant, Agilent Technologies

We are pleased to announce that Cobalt, a spinoff company which originated in the CLF, and which markets technology using Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS), has been acquired by Agilent Technologies, a U.S. company.

Agilent Technologies, a U.S. tech giant, bought Cobalt in July this year for the sum of forty million pounds. This is an exciting success for the CLF and its researchers.

SORS is an exclusive CLF technique which differs from traditional RAMAN spectroscopy in that it can identify materials through opaque containers deeper beneath the surface than previous methods were able to.

Cobalt products have been developed to analyse materials which are within opaque containers, quickly and accurately, for chemical composition. This gives the advantage of being able to analyse a substance while leaving the container intact.

A table-top device created by Cobalt, which is used to identify liquids within bottles, is currently in operation at 75 airports throughout Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Using the same SORS technique, hand-held devices have been developed by Cobalt to quickly and efficiently test the contents of bottles and jars for explosives, narcotics and hazardous substances.

Paul Loeffen, CEO of Cobalt, said of the deal that "Cobalt and Agilent have similar cultures focused on customer-centric innovation. The combination of Cobalt's patented technologies with Agilent's product-development expertise, manufacturing capabilities, channels and customer base will allow us to scale our operations to take advantage of this rapidly growing market."[1]

A brief History of Cobalt:

Cobalt's SORS technique was originally developed using the CLF's cutting edge ultra-fast laser, Ultra.

As a new company, Cobalt won the prestigious 2014 MacRobert Award for engineering innovation for its unique liquids scanner. Cobalt was up against engineering giant Rolls Royce, and the fast-growing QuinetiQ spin-out, Optasense. Cobalt won the prize for their pioneering technique that identified liquids in non-metallic containers.

In 2014, Cobalt Light Systems ranked in the top 10 in the Tech Track 100 league table (which ranks Britain's fastest-growing private technology). Furthermore, in 2015, Cobalt Light Systems was placed at the top of the SME Export Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain's private small and medium-sized enterprises with the fastest-growing international sales over the previous two years. It took its places among many of the prestigious technology firms in the UK.

These awards reflect Cobalt's rapid growth since its formation in 2008, with innovative technology enabling the development of successful products in key markets.

Finally, Cobalt has been awarded the 2015 Queens Award for Enterprise, the UK's highest accolade for business success, in the international trade category.

 

After the purchase by Agilent Technologies, Cobalt-Agilent will be moving from its previous base in Milton Park back to the Harwell Campus. This will become Agilent's global centre for Raman spectroscopy.

 

[1] “Agilent Technologies Acquires Raman Spectroscopy Innovator, Cobalt Light Systems" Agilent. http://www.agilent.com/about/newsroom/presrel/2017/07jul-gp17014.html, 7th July 2017. Web. Accessed 2nd August 2017.

To read more on this, visit http://www.agilent.com/about/newsroom/presrel/2017/07jul-gp17014.html

For other CLF news and events, visit: News

 

 

 


Contact: Towrie, Helen (STFC,RAL,CLF)