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LEEC Secure CO2 Incubator Exports

Date: 05 January 2011

The story was also covered by the Evening Post and other media sources.

Nottingham precision engineering company LEEC has secured export orders for its innovative, state-of-the-art CO2 incubators with the support of the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet. Crucial tests to prove that the incubators can be successfully sterilised prior to use have been carried out with the help of subsidised innovation support from the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet. The test findings to prove efficacy at 200°C have helped generate over 40 orders for the high-spec units. LEEC will receive a further iNet grant this month to test at 160°C for the Far East market. Export sales for the £6.7 million turnover company have grown from 15% to 30% in 2010 and the company is aiming for 70% of sales from exports in the next 3 years.

LEEC has been in operation since 1953 and employs over 60 people at its Colwick site It designs and manufactures mortuary and laboratory equipment. The recently launched range of CO2 incubators for use in hospitals, universities and bioscience companies are designed for in-vitro fertilization, stem cell and tissue culture applications. These incubators include specialised temperature control to prevent internal condensation and a new 200°C sterilising cycle to ensure minimal risk of culture contamination. The company needed to verify the technical aspects of the new unit ahead of its international sales campaign and was referred by the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet to specialists at the Health Protection Agency at Porton Down in Wiltshire.

Mark Darton, Business Development Manager for LEEC says: "We didn't have the in-house technology to conduct the necessary tests ourselves and approached the Healthcare iNet for help. Through iNet adviser George Canty, we were made aware of the services of the Health Protection Agency at Porton Down, which we decided to use, and obtained very positive test results. George's experience in the laboratory equipment manufacturing field meant he immediately understood our needs and responded very professionally. "

As a direct result of including the test results in sales literature, LEEC has secured distribution rights in Japan and has given full technical training at its Colwick headquarters to the Japanese sales and service engineers. Interest from Australia, India, China, New Zealand and Switzerland will be followed up in the coming months. The company has already recruited two new members of staff and will shortly be offering shop-floor apprenticeships.

"LEEC is at the forefront of technical design and innovation," says Healthcare and Bioscience iNet adviser George Canty. "This is just the type of company the East Midlands needs if we are to compete in international trade. We will continue to support their drive to increase export sales and will monitor their progress with interest."

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