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High definition surveillance cameras rest in the foreground at the Avigilon factory in Richmond, B.C., May 2, 2012.Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

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Deloitte pulls its Fast one

Vancouver-based Avigilon Corp., which designs and manufactures high-definition surveillance solutions, has claimed the top spot on the 15th annual Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list of Canada's fastest-growing tech firms, with a five-year revenue increase of 29,917 per cent. It's an enviable figure, to be sure, but average growth for all companies on the list shows a steep decline.

"This year we've seen the lowest cumulative growth rate for the Fast 50 winners," says Richard Lee, national leader of Deloitte's technology, media and telecommunications practice. "That is a direct consequence of the lack of investment in the critical technology sector. The good news is that we saw a lot of exciting new companies in the start-up segment."

Second place goes to EcoSynthetix Inc., a Burlington, Ont.-based renewable chemicals company with a five-year growth rate of 25,327 per cent, and third slot was filled by Real Matters, a Markham, Ont.-based property solutions manager at 8,961 per cent.

Rounding out the top five are Hamilton, Ont.-based VIZIYA Corp., with 3,816-per-cent growth, and Toronto-based NexJ Systems Inc., with 3,153 per cent.

For the full Fast 50 list, the average company growth rates, and sector and regional breakdowns, click here for an interactive.

The average five-year growth rate of the Fast 50 companies was 1,953 per cent in 2012, down from more than 5,000 per cent in the past two years. On a more positive note, research and development spending by all 50 firms combined was more than $1.6 billion, and they employ more than 27,000 people.

The bulk of the companies are based in Ontario, with 30, followed by Quebec (11), B.C. (six), the Prairies (two) and Atlantic Canada (one).

In addition to the Fast 50 ranking, Deloitte's program also presents companies-to-watch awards for early-stage tech firms in business less than five years, leadership awards to companies that demonstrate technological leadership in four categories, and green awards to companies promoting a more efficient use of the earth's resources in industrial production and consumption.

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