Deloitte today released their “UK Technology Fast50” Report.  It lists the fifty fastest growing technology companies in the UK.
“The 2008 Deloitte Fast 50 results bear testament to the vibrancy of the UK technology sector, even in challenging market conditions. Overall growth rates have in fact increased in the last 12 months – the average growth rate of the 2008 Fast 50 was 2161 per cent, up from (2318 per cent).

Last year’s winner would have been ranked third this year. The average revenue figures for the 2008 Deloitte Fast 50 are £17.3m.

David Halstead, Partner TMT practice and Fast 50 Chairman, Deloitte said: “The 2008 Deloitte Fast 50 provides a fascinating view of the evolving structure of the UK’s tech sector, with software and internet businesses making up the bulk of the fastest growing companies. While their products and services are at the extreme cutting edge of global technology, it is important to note that it is not just technology that makes these companies leaders in their sectors – it is about the quality of the people and their Intellectual Property that makes these businesses the success stories they are.”

To qualify for the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award, companies must have met stringent criteria: to have been in business for over five years, be UK-owned, to have operating revenues of at least £34,000, to own proprietary technology or proprietary intellectual property that contributes to a significant portion of the company’s operating revenues; or to devote a significant proportion of revenues to the research and development of technology.”

Top of the list is Thunderhead Limited, a software vendor with a staggering growth of 28,558% in the last year.  Ubisense also experienced five figure growth, at 15324%.  What they do, to quote their website is “Ubisense precise real-time location solutions drive process improvement, delivering maximum ROI to our industrial customers by providing 15cm 3D accuracy, real-time sub-second response and proven robustness in challenging manufacturing environments across standard networks.”

What I find most interesting is the absences. Despite being a technology listing, open to any kind of technology manufacturer, there are no representatives from the renewable energy sector.
On a quick skim, there are only really five companies that actually ‘make’ anything physical (Ubisense, picoChip, CSR plc, Sensornet Ltd, Xtreme Business Solutions Ltd ).*  I wonder when the government will pass the legislation required for a renewable sector company to make this list, it can surely only be a matter of time.

Miliband has been making the right noises about feed in tariffs, and potentially reducing the obstructions to offshore wind-farms. Will 2009 be the year? To exclude software from making something physical is a little glib, I admit.

1 Thunderhead Limited Software vendor 28558% 26 UK Digital Cameras Ltd Online retailer 970%
2 Ubisense Real-time location systems 15324% 27 Dezrez Services Limited Software 965%
3 picoChip Semiconductors 4483% 28 UKFast Internet hosting 894%
4 OB10 B2B invoicing network 3488% 29 Sponge Ltd Mobile marketing agency 854%
5 Bigmouthmedia Ltd Digital marketing agency 3357% 30 Rocela Limited Software 844%
6 TH_NK Ltd Digital agency 3137% 31 O-bitTelecom Limited Telecommunications 829%
7 Broadbean Technology Advertising distribution services 2882% 32 Memset Internet hosting 823%
8 Content and Code Ltd Software 2855% 33 Dynamic Change Ltd Software 817%
9 Nexus Oncology Ltd Clinical research 2614% 34 Wavex Technology Limited IT services 816%
10 RapidSwitch Ltd Internet hosting 2437% 35 Widget UK Ltd IT distributor 800%
11 Digital Window Ltd Online marketing solutions 2319% 36 Bluhalo Ltd Digital marketing agency 779%
12 Redtray Limited e-Learning solutions 2056% 37 How Splendid Ltd Web design agency 779%
13 Coast Digital Limited Digital marketing agency 1948% 38 iMeta Technologies Ltd Software 734%
14 Greenlight Search marketing agency 1749% 39 Chess plc Telecommunications 723%
15 Opti-cal Survey Equipment Optical survey equipment 1664% 40 StaffPlan Software 704%
16 Assima Technology solutions 1615% 41 Switch Media Plc Internet services 682%
17 ByBox Holdings Ltd Logistics 1340% 42 YouGov plc Online research 667%
18 Daisy Communications Communications 1202% 43 2ergo Mobile marketing 624%
19 Bloxx IT security 1182% 44 Virtual IT Limited IT services 611%
20 Excelian Limited IT consultancy 1175% 45 Mobile Commerce Ltd Mobile search 590%
21 Miniclip Limited Gaming 1171% 46 Valueworks Internet software services 589%
22 Comtec Enterprises ICT solutions 1052% 47 Lagan Software 560%
23 CSR plc Wireless devices 1027% 48 Bluefin Solutions SAP solutions 549%
24 Sensornet Ltd Fibre optic sensing solutions 1000% 49 Griffin Internet IP products 523%
25 Xtreme Business Solutions Ltd Cabling and telecoms suppliers 997% 50 Entanet International Ltd Voice and data connectivity services 514%