Major Investment in Clean Tech

Sonihull, the world’s leading ultrasonic antifouling system, has welcomed two industry veterans onto its board following the announcement of major investment.

Industry leaders Suresh Kavan and Sharon Rowlands have just joined the Sonihull board as strategic advisors. Their appointments and investment mark an important point in the development of the company which has the tagline: ‘Sonihull – Saving the oceans. One ship at a time’.

Based in Coventry, the firm has developed an industry-leading technology that safely prevents marine algae, weeds and molluscs from colonising ocean-going vessels and structures like ships and wind farms. The technology removes the need for poisonous chemicals and microplastics in antifouling coatings and can reduce maintenance costs by up to 90%. The company is transforming the way that marine applications are approaching antifouling, an industry that is worth about $100 billion annually.

Suresh Kavan (left) has over 30 years’ experience in the B2B information and technology industry, holding a variety of positions in sales, marketing, research, technology, product development, business development and general management.

He has served as CEO of DMG Information and DMG Events and as Chairman of RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk modelling company, and as President of a $2.5bn division of Thomson Reuters. Kavan is a fervent technologist with a focus on the Internet of Things and Big Data with extensive energy sector experience

Sharon Rowlands (left) is CEO of domain name registry and web development service and on the boards of publicly-listed technology companies, including global business software company Pegasystems and the emergency communications provider Everbridg.

She has operated billion-dollar companies across financial services, media, risk management and driven a number of high-profile digital transformations.

Over the course of her career Rowlands has transformed a number of media and technology companies, including Altegrity where she was CEO from 2011 to 2013, Penton Media, which she led from 2008 to 2011, and Thomson Financial where she served as President and CEO from 2005 to 2008.

“To attract this calibre of industry leader demonstrates the huge potential of this market,” said Darren Rowlands, CEO of Sonihull at the announcement. “Sonihull has the best technology in the marine sector and Suresh and Sharon’s commitment and skills will help us to realise that potential and make a big impact for clean technology.”


Marine bio fouling (seaweed, barnacles and mussels) costs the shipping industry over $100 billion every year. When fouling builds up on a ship’s hull – it can increase drag and fuel costs by up to 60%. When it builds up in raw-water cooling-systems – it can destroy the main engine and put a ship out of commission.

Sonihull has harnessed the power of ultrasound and its systems are already saving up to 90% of capital and MRO costs in offshore box cooler installations, compared to Impressed Current antifouling systems.

Currently, 95% of all antifouling systems rely on the release of toxins into the environment – this is not environmentally sustainable. The clock is ticking because the IMO (International Maritime Organisation, the world’s maritime regulatory body) is legislating towards ‘zero harm’ solutions. Sonihull technology has zero biocides, zero poisons are leached into the oceans, zero microplastics are shed from ablative coatings and it has zero impact on other marine life.

The Science

Microscopic ultrasound-induced cavitation disrupts the first stages of the food chain without damaging the surface being protected. This action prevents the build-up of algae, slime and bigger more complex organisms on surfaces where biofouling is not wanted. The system is silent and the movement of water on the protected surface prevents the adhesion of juvenile barnacles and mussels.

“In commercial shipping applications, operators are saving up to 90% of their capital and lifetime maintenance costs when protecting raw seawater equipment with Sonihull instead of impressed-current antifouling systems,” added Rowlands. “Sonihull is a zero-harm solution. There are no poisons, or biocides leached into the marine environment, no microplastics are shed from ablative coatings and no toxic metallic ions are left in your wake.”

Protect your vessel

Sonihull’s mission is to deliver environmentally safe, cost effective antifouling wherever unwanted bio-fouling persists. Our vision is:

To make dosing the oceans with poisonous biocides and microplastics a thing of the past
To deliver effective antifouling systems using the power of ultrasound
To save the oceans, one ship at a time