In 1978, Esco was established in Singapore to provide clean air solutions for the high-tech, life sciences industries. Since then, Esco has earned a reputation in laboratories across the globe. Today, Esco continues to develop new life sciences tools and drive novel technologies through venture creation and innovation.
1978 - 1997
Esco in its early years
Esco is founded in 1978 by Singaporean pharmacists Lim Lay Yew and Low Yae Foong. Esco was launched to manufacture clean room products for Singapore's then-booming electronics industry. In its early days, Esco manufactured the first laminar flow clean bench, designed and built its first microelectronics class 10,000 cleanroom for Siemens Corporation. The business expanded as Esco embarked on distribution to the pharmaceutical, life science, biotechnology and medical research markets in Malaysia and Indonesia with the establishment of Esco Micro (M) Sdn Bhd and PT Esco Bintan Indonesia.
2000 - 2005
Transformation to a Life Sciences Tools Company
When the field shifted towards life sciences in 2000, Esco successfully adapted along with it. The company quickly transformed itself and earned a reputation for producing and providing laboratory and biological safety equipment. Esco became the first Asian manufacturer to earn EN 12469 certification for biological safety cabinets in 2001 and achieved its first NSF/ANSI certification in 2004. In 2005, Esco was invited by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration to participate in a joint committee to develop the National Standard for Biological Safety Cabinets.
2006 - 2008
Expansion of Operations
To increase the sales of its biological safety cabinet to a global market, Esco expanded its operations to USA with the establishment of Esco Technologies, Inc as an integrated sales, marketing and distribution center. Offices were also set up in India, United Kingdom, China, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa. This was followed by a global marketing program (Esco. World Class. Worldwide) to establish its presence as a global life sciences tool company. In 2007, annualized production exceeded 10,000 units.
Esco launches its Pharma Division
Following the success of its biological safety cabinets, Esco established Esco Pharma to expand its repertoire of life sciences tools to include Isotherm® ovens and incubators, Pharmacon™ downflow booths, Swift® MaxPro and MiniPro new generation PCR thermal cyclers, Labculture® In Vitro Fertilization Workstations, CelCulture® range of carbon dioxide incubator and Lexicon® range of Ultra-low Temperature Freezers.
Esco launches its Medical Division
Esco launched the Esco Medical Division providing world class ART/IVF solutions worldwide, with a focus on the new MIRI® Multi-room Embryo Incubator. As the IVF Medtech business unit of the Esco Group, Esco Medical provides innovative solutions to fertility clinics and laboratories.
2013 - 2014
New generation life sciences tools
By applying new innovative technologies, Esco launched a new range of life sciences equipment which includes Airstream® G3 Class II (the greenest low noise biological safety cabinet in the world), eSafe® (technologically and ergonomically advanced TUV-NORD certified BSC), MIRI® GA gas and temperature validation unit, Fertilisafe™ IVF Workstation and the MIRI® Time-Lapse incubator.
2015 - 2018
Esco ventures into Medtech and Biotechnology
In 2016, Esco Healthcare was launched as an umbrella to Esco Pharma, Esco TaPestle Rx, and Esco VacciXcell. The technologies developed from Esco Healthcare were cumulated to establish Esco Aster, the bioprocessing division of Esco Group that provides biomanufacturing of vaccines and biologics.
In the spirit of innovation, Esco has also invested RMB 100 million into a new 20,000m2 Innovation Center in Taicang, China together with the set-up of a venture office in Esco Beijing. Throughout the years, Esco has been awarded the Singapore Prestige Brand Award for 3 consecutive years and the Top Employer Brand Award, which is a testament to its values and the core mission to improve lives.
2020 - 2021
In 2020, the company shifted from Esco Group of Companies to Esco Lifesciences Group carrying a new tagline “Improving lives through science." and launched the Laboratory Division as Esco Scientific. The transformation of the company name and brand signifies Esco’s vigor in keeping up, responsive, and adaptive with the fast changing world while keeping focused on its mission to deliver enabling technologies and provide service all over the world and improve lives through science.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Esco continues to provide world-class equipment and reliable services to help research and hospitals. Multiple installations of COVID-19 equipment such as BSCs, PCR Cabinets, Refrigerators and Freezers, Laboratory Shakers, were done globally. The Trace, Test, and Treat Program was also launched to help with the worldwide eradication of the virus.
This 2021, the company embarked on a Esco 3.0 transformation, which primarily involves strategic bolt-on M&A and expedited expansion in China to maintain the strong revenue growth achieved over the last decade. Esco Lifesciences will also increase its R&D and in-licensing efforts to develop and commercialize enabling novel life science research tools in emerging domains, thus enabling fundamental scientific discoveries and, ultimately, the diagnostics and medicines of tomorrow.