AN AMBITIOUS North-East technology firm hopes to raise £15m from a stock market flotation to fuel future expansion. 

Kromek, based at NetPark, near Sedgefield, County Durham, plans to join the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) as it targets growth opportunities in the medical imaging, security screening and nuclear detection sectors.  

The firm, formerly known as Durham Scientific Crystals, started as a two-man spin-out from Durham University in 2003. It is now a world leader in colour imaging for x-rays, allowing groundbreaking advances in areas including airport security, industrial inspection and space exploration. 

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Arnab Basu, the chief executive of Kromek, said the demand for the firm's technology "is real and immediate."

He added: "The business is established in its markets and its hybrid business model is proven. 

"We have contracts in place with some of the leading OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in each of our chosen fields, including a development contract recently signed with a top four global OEM in the medical imaging market. Kromek is now seeking to raise additional capital to accelerate its growth and harvest value from our platform of technologies.

“Kromek is a well-established British technology business with a US presence and the opportunity to grow rapidly. To that end, admitting to AIM is an attractive option providing the company with both access to capital and tradable equity should acquisition opportunities arise in the future. I now look forward to working with my colleagues and our shareholders to realise the company’s commercial potential,” said Mr Basu.

Kromek announced in 2009 that it had pioneered an airport scanner capable of identifying liquids in bottles, including explosives, alcohol and narcotics. A year later it bought Californian imaging detector firm Nova R&D Inc.