A FAMILY-RUN thermal imaging firm renowned for protecting the US President has expanded its reach again.

Solo Ti, in Darlington, is sending its life-saving products to Sweden.

The company, run by brother and sister Victoria McLaren and James Brooks, is working with X-innovations.

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The Swedish firm develops products for the the country's fire service.

Solo Ti was supported by the university-backed organisation, Enterprise Europe Network North-East (EEN), which put the North-East company in contact with Swedish bosses.

Mr Brooks, Solo-Ti’s product director and Teesside University graduate, said: “Nearly 80 per cent of our sales are overseas, so we’re always looking for new areas to move into.

“The network has really opened doors for us and is beneficial for smaller companies that don’t have the means to scope new markets.”

The company's cameras have been used by the White House, Nasa, the SAS and Chelsea Football Club's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

The Northern Echo revealed last year how it had secured deals with the Italian Costa and Mariotti shipyards.

Costa, the operator behind the Costa Concordia liner, is using its thermal imaging helmets, with Mariotti taking 22 of its Halo thermal cameras that connect to firefighters' equipment.

It already supplies helmets and cameras for the £470m Royal Princess cruise liner, which can be used to search for overboard casualties and detect sea pirates, and its fire protection helmets are standard equipment on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria liners, as well as P&O and Seabourn vessels.

The firm is also developing technology for vets and trainers to assess greyhound injuries, with ailments showing up as heat patches on cameras.

Mr Brooks added: “There isn't anybody who makes and develops products like ours worldwide."

The EEN is made up of Teesside University, the Centre for Process Innovation and Newcastle Science City.

Mike Gilkes, project manager at Teesside University, added: “We’re delighted to have helped Solo get a foothold in the Swedish market."