Belfast Telegraph

Ulster's IT skills on the fast track

By Nigel Tilson

Fifteen Northern Ireland companies have been included in this year's Deloitte Fast 50, it has been revealed.

The accountancy firm's annual Technology Fast 50 Awards, which rank the fastest growing technology companies on the island of Ireland, are to be handed out in Dublin later this week.

However, to whet the appetite, Deloitte has revealed 15 of the 50 are from Northern Ireland - and on average they have shown a 237% growth in turnover in the last five years. Although their exact rankings will not be known until the awards ceremony at the Mansion House on Thursday, the Ulster representation in the eighth year of the awards has pleased the organisers.

Tom Keenan, partner with Deloitte in Belfast, said: "We are delighted with the interest shown in this year's awards and that Northern Ireland will be strongly represented again among the best technology companies on the island.

"It is particularly encouraging that we have some of our previous rising stars now taking their place alongside the more established companies.

"Companies who feature on the ranking benefit enormously from their participation. We are regularly told by previous entrants that recognition in the Fast 50 can be an important stepping-stone to gaining vital profile, as well as to create real business opportunities across the island and beyond."

Apart from the top 50, the gala awards presenters will also announce the 'Rising Stars' for 2007 in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. The category applies to companies that have been in operation for at least three years but are not yet eligible for the main awards.

In addition the event will include a focused technology forum with a number of keynote speakers outlining their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

Mr Keenan added: "With the impressive growth experienced by these companies to date, and our prediction that the sector will experience a Celtic Tiger style expansion in the coming years, we are facing one of the most positive times ahead for the industry here."

The Ulster companies on the Fast 50 shortlist are: Andor Technology; Asidua; Audio Processing Technology; Consilium Technologies; Core Systems (NI); First Derivatives; Fusion Antibodies; gem; ITS New Media; Lagan Technologies; Meridio; Nitec Solutions; Novosco; Singularity and Texthelp Systems.

Belfast Telegraph