THE ESCO STORY
In 1978, Esco was founded in Singapore and began to pioneer cleanroom technology in Southeast Asia. Esco was established to provide clean air solutions for the high-tech industrial and life sciences industries. Since its very beginning, Esco has earned a reputation for innovation in the worldwide laboratory and cleanroom industry. Today, Esco continues to innovate by developing new life sciences tools and driving novel life sciences technology through venture creation and incubation.
1978 - 1997
Establishment of Esco as a Cleanroom Technology Business
Esco is a family-owned business founded in 1978 by Singaporean pharmacists Lim Lay Yew and Low Yae Foong. The couple launched Esco 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. Esco was also the first company in the region to enter the cleanroom laundry business with the production of the Class 100 cleanroom laundry. 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, PT Escotama Handal 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
Esco Ventures Pte Ltd was launched as the strategic investment arm of Esco Group dedicated to funding start-ups and incubating new venture creation in the life sciences arena. Esco Ventures focuses on biotech venture creation at the intersection of novel biological insights, platform technologies and unmet medical needs, by leveraging on scientific developments from the Asian region. Carmentix Pte Ltd, an Esco Ventures X founded company, started in 2015 to develop a prognostic kit to predict the risk of preterm births in pregnant women. In parallel, Esco Ventures supports corporate venture investments in life sciences tools and diagnostics by investing at Seed/Series A stage globally with the capacity for follow up funding.
In 2016, Esco Healthcare was launched as an umbrella to Esco Pharma, VacciXcell and TaPestleRx. 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.