Detection tech firm Kromek seals major $17m deal with US manufacturer
County Durham tech firm Kromek has secured a $17 million (£12.3m) contract from a US manufacturer with customers around the globe.
The radiation detection specialist, based in NETPark, Sedgefield, will provide its detection capabilities to the American company in a seven-year deal, starting in this financial year.
The contract was awarded following the successful progression of a development program announced in November 2020.
At the time, the business – which supplies detection technology focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets – sealed an agreement worth up to $660,000 (£478,523) with the industrial manufacturer, saying it hoped it would lead to a multi-year deal.
Under the initial program Kromek, which currently exports to around 55 countries, provided a cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) based detector solution, to be incorporated into the company’s systems for identifying contaminants during production processes.
Kromek’s CZT detectors enable higher quality of imaging, giving more accurate and reliable identification of materials.
Shares rose more than 5 per cent following the contract announcement, and the firm’s founder says further work with the US firm should follow.
Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive of Kromek, said: “We are delighted at the success of our collaboration with our customer who has substantial global operations and market share in this sector.
“Our customer is dedicated to introducing best-of-breed solutions in their next-generation products to ensure we can live healthier and safer lives.
“We anticipate developing further products for this customer to support their ambitions.”Kromek was first founded in 2003 as a spin-out from the University of Durham and now employs over 150 worldwide, including 90 people at its North East headquarters.
The company’s mission is to save lives and enhance quality of lives using advanced detection solutions, and it is currently targeting 50 per cent revenue growth after coming out of the pandemic with “strong momentum”.
The company announced its full year results in July, with revenues of £10.4m for the year to April 30, down 21 per cent from a year earlier, and a pre-tax loss of £6.3m, detailing how the pandemic had disrupted its previous pathway to profitability by two years.
However, a raft of new contracts, coupled with increased commercial activity in the second half of the 12 months and after the period’s end, is helping to expand its global footprint
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The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.
The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.
It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.
Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.
We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.
CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.