This year marks the 50th anniversary of Greiner Bio-One GmbH. Over the past five decades, the business founded in Nürtingen, Germany, as Greiner Labortechnik has become an international high-tech company, but it has never lost sight of its modest SMB roots.
Combining tradition with innovation has created a globally successful technology partner for the diagnostic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Greiner Labortechnik started out in 1963 in Nürtingen, producing the first plastic Petri dishes. A further production facility that opened in Austria in 1974 also initially manufactured Petri dishes.
In the 1980s, Greiner unveiled VACUETTE the first evacuated blood collection system with a plastic safety cap which can maintain a vacuum for at least 18 months.
This extremely important innovation was key in shaping the company’s further development. Another major breakthrough came in 1997 with the world’s first 1536 well microplate.
In 1988, an ultramodern 15,000 square metre injection moulding production facility opened in Frickenhausen, near Nürtingen. The company also invested in a new production site in the United States and, in 2001, Greiner Labortechnik became Greiner Bio-One International AG.
With a global turnover of 364 million euros, Greiner now has over 1,700 employees spread across seven production facilities and 24 subsidiaries in countries such as France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hungary, the United States, Switzerland, Brazil, Thailand, China and India.
Based in the Austrian town of Kremsmünster, the Preanalytics division supplies hospitals, clinical laboratories, blood donation centres and the diagnostics industry with complete solutions for venous and capillary blood collection.
Innovations include safety products to protect against needlestick injuries and the VACUETTE PREMIUM tubes with a special screw cap that protect health service professionals against infections.
The division’s latest development is the VACUETTE TUBE TOUCH safety holder. When inserting the tube into the holder, a mechanism activates a safety cap to ensure risk-free blood collection.
The Diagnostics division focuses on DNA chip technology. Biochips provide conclusive proof of the specific genetic fingerprints of many different parameters in a single analysis. The CarnoCheck DNA chip, for example, detects traces of various animal species in food products.
A further significant Greiner Bio-One innovation is the PapilloCheck HPV test, which reliably identifies and flags up 24 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). This has taken Greiner Bio-One a big step forward in the early detection of a virus that is the main cause of cervical cancer.
Headed by managing director Heinz Schmid, the German headquarters of the BioScience division in Frickenhausen control all research and development activities in the Cell Culture, High-Throughput Screening and OEM product sectors for markets throughout the world.
Schmid, who started his career as a trainee at the company, sees the anniversary as more than simply an excuse for nostalgia. “I share my staff’s great pride when I see the trust placed in Greiner Bio-One products by scientists and doctors working in areas such as cancer research, virus diagnostics and vaccine production the world over. We are committed to always delivering optimum solutions with our innovations,” he says.