Last month, we went back to the 70’s and 80’s to the very roots of modern day Sercon, today, we’re moving on to the 90’s and early noughties. In 1990 Europa Scientific, forerunners of Sercon, were awarded their first Queen’s Award For Export Excellence and moved into dedicated premises, Europa House, in Crewe, UK.
A second generation of bench top CF-IRMS systems, the 2020 IRMS and ANCA elemental analyser, was introduced and soon expanded with GC-IRMS (ORCHID) and traditional Dual inlet-IRMS (GEO) options.
Europa had recognised the potential of the 13C labelled Urea Breath Test for the detection of Helicobacter Pylori infection that leads to stomach ulcers. This was based on the work by Nobel prize winning researcher Barry Marshal in Australia and Peter Klein in the USA. An instrument dedicated to analysing this revolutionary non-invasive test for ulcers was brought to market as the ABCA.
It was soon regarded as the ‘gold standard’ for the test and found worldwide in hospitals and research centres.
Growing demand for a cost effective simple 15N & 13C isotope analyser for solid samples by combustion was met by designing the world’s first and only single box combined EA and IRMS, the INTEGRA. This proved to be a popular product and being easily transportable soon found itself in remote locations on land and sea.
Another Queen’s Award For Export Excellence was earned by 1998.
But these were difficult times, resulting in the sale of Europa Scientific to the PDZ group of companies who ran it for several years. Not everyone was happy with the situation, and in 2001, Sercon was born when two key players, Chris Pullan and Steve Welsh left to setup a service and consumables supply company to meet a need PDZ wasn’t fulfilling.
Mark O’Connor and Sam Barker soon joined Chris and Steve and the company prospered thanks to its friendly and approachable relationship with researchers and analysts, and when the PDZ group collapsed in 2004, Sercon stepped in and bought the rights to the Europa product line ensuring its continuing availability.
That was nearly 20 years ago, and Sercon has never stood on its laurels – we’ll bring Sercon’s story right up to date next month!