THE head of a successful imaging firm will talk about the region’s engineering heritage and the need to encourage businesses to set up here at the North-East’s biggest engineering and manufacturing exhibition.

Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive of County Durhambased Kromek will give the opening address at Oktoberfest 2012, which takes place on Thursday, October 18, at the Xcel Centre, Newton Aycliffe.

Under Dr Basu’s leadership, the Sedgefield company has become a world leader in colour imaging for x-rays, allowing groundbreaking advances in medical imaging, security screening, industrial inspection and space exploration.

In July, the company launched RadAngel a personal portable radiation detector.

Kromek, formerly Durham Scientific Crystals, was incorporated in 2003 to commercialise technology developed in the physics department of Durham University.

Dr Basu will highlight Hitachi’s train-building factory, which is due to go into production at Aycliffe in 2015, as a boost of confidence for North-East manufacturing.

Organisers of the annual event, which is designed to showcase talent, open up new contacts, and initiate business, have hailed his participation and that of Hitachi Rail Europe and developers Merchant Place Developments.

More than 100 companies are expected to attend the fifth annual Oktoberfest, including Nissan, which is sponsoring the event as well as attending as exhibitors.

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