Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 12m for Airport Security

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 12m for Airport Security

Article excerpt

Byline: John Hill

TECHNOLOGY firm Kromek has won a pounds 12.3m cash injection which will inevitably mean more jobs for the North East, it claimed.

The Sedgefield-based company has attracted worldwide interest by developing a scanner that can be used in airports to detect explosives or narcotics in bottles without opening them and has just raised the money from private investors in exchange for shares, bringing its valuation to pounds 52m.

Chief executive Arnab Basu said: "We've grown pretty consistently over the past three years and we expect to carry on at the same pace and even accelerate that process. It will inevitably mean more jobs and development within the company."

The pounds 12.3m will be pumped into covering the lease at its expanded facility at the NETPark science park in Sedgefield and generating working capital to pay its growing development workforce, as well as allowing it to target potential buyers in the medical, defence, industrial inspection and security sectors.

Late last year Kromek said it would be adding 100 staff over the next three years after winning a pounds 2.4m contract with the US Department of Defence to supply equipment which can detect emissions from nuclear materials.

Kromek was set up as a two-man operation called Durham Scientific Crystals in 2003 and specialises in the security market, although its products have uses in the medical and industrial inspection fields.

Dr Basu said the company had received inquiries for its Kromek Bottle Scanner from Asia, America and the Middle East. The scanner uses digital detectors to compare a liquid with a saved template, allowing security to confirm if it has been tampered with in under 30 seconds.

It is undergoing testing in the US by the Transportation Security Administration, set up in response to the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. …

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