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Awards for province's top-ranked technology companies

High-ranking technology companies were recognised at a glittering awards ceremony, which saw 15 Northern Ireland firms top an important chart of fast-moving businesses.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards saw the best-ever showing by Northern Ireland firms since the listings began 11 years ago.

The awards, which were held in Belfast's Europa Hotel, rank the fastest-growing technology companies in Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Digital camera maker Andor Technology, virtual infrastructure experts Novosco and Texthelp Systems, which makes software for people with reading and writing problems, all made it onto the Fast 50 ranking again. All three have featured in the list every year since it began.

Andor Technology is also one of the few Northern Ireland companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Congratulating the Northern Ireland winners, David Crawford, partner at Deloitte Belfast, said: "In spite of the challenging financial market conditions, the 2010 Deloitte Fast 50 shows that local technology companies are continuing to show impressive growth.

"In fact, four Belfast-based companies - Latens Systems Ltd, Leaf Consultancy, Rehabstudios and Export Technologies - made it into the top 10 this year, as well as making it on to the highly contested Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 listing, which is another fantastic achievement."

He was "particularly impressed" to see many winners competing on the world stage, especially in areas such as software development, and the rise in using the web to sell services globally.

Co Antrim could claim 11 companies in the rankings, beaten only by Dublin with 23.

Businesses from Derry and Down were also listed, alongside those from Limerick, Cork, Kerry and Clare.

Learning Pool Ltd, an e-learning provider for the public sector in Northern Ireland, scooped the Rising Star award.