AN electronics firm has laid out job creation plans after confirming a North-East expansion.

Pragmatic is moving into the new Explorer units at NetPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, as it bids to foil counterfeiters.

Bosses say the switch will allow the company, which makes circuits thinner than a human hair, to take on 20 staff, with most of the posts based at NetPark.

They added it will also give the business, which spun out of Manchester University in 2010 and runs its headquarters in Cambridge, a platform to launch new apparatus next year, once a production line is installed in the spring.

Bosses say the firm, which already employs 25 people in the North-East, will benefit from 5,000sq ft of laboratory and office space, as well as much-needed manufacturing, servicing and warehousing areas.

The company’s products are embedded in packaging and documentation to improve security and identification, and Ken Williamson, chief operating officer, said its NetPark move will provide a solid base to strengthen its presence in the sector.

He said: “We’re growing rapidly and needed our own space as the business progresses.

“The new Explorer building is an ideal place.

“There’s a massive black market for counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes and it’s a multi-billion pound business.

“Every single one of our circuits have unique IDs, so the products can be easily identified.

“Our products are thinner, and their flexibility allows them to be embedded into products that have been off limits for traditional silicon.

“They’re so fine they can go into paper and card and it’s one tenth of the price to implement.

“Our focus now will be on producing three or four specific products, working in conjunction with a couple of label manufacturers, which will be ready for launch sometime next year.”

NetPark is managed by Business Durham, Durham County Council’s business division, and Brian Archer, the organisation’s newly-appointed managing director, revealed his delight at welcoming Pragmatic.

He said: “There are no limits to the use of Pragmatic’s innovative technology and their new space will allow them to take their business to the next level with the support of its highly skilled team in the North-East.”

NetPark’s Explorer buildings received a £3.2m grant from the North-East Local Enterprise Partnership regeneration body, through its Local Growth Deal.

Helen Golightly, executive director, added: “This is further good news for NetPark, which through the new Explorer project, is now able to offer high-quality accommodation for innovative businesses.”

NetPark is already home to companies such as scanner maker Kromek and technology firm Polyphotonix, which has devised the Noctura 400 sleep mask it says delivers light therapy capable of transforming eye disease treatment for diabetes sufferers.