THE man behind an innovative North-East firm providing airport safety systems has received an MBE.

Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive of Kromek, has been recognised in the New Year Honours for services to regional development and international trade.

The company, based at Netpark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, is best known for pioneering a scanner that can identify liquids in bottles, including explosives, alcohol and narcotics, without them being opened, in less than 20 seconds.

Its technology is already used by nine UK airports, including Durham Tees Valley, near Darlington, and last month the firm revealed it had been asked to supply airports in Portugal, Cyprus and Belgium, with talks ongoing with airports across Europe.

Dr Basu said: “Everyone who receives such an honour says the same, but it really was a big surprise and I never really expected such fantastic recognition.

“I do what I believe is right in terms of highlighting our fantastic region, which has been a major part of my life.

“This area has some superb businesses that are now firmly integrated in the region and creating a high number of jobs.

“That is testament to what the North-East has to offer and what it is already offering.

“The strength of any region is always its people and the fact the region has so many international businesses wanting to be here says a lot too.”

Kromek, which began life ten years ago at Durham University, has also sold its scanners to airports in Finland, Germany and Australia.