History & Key Milestones | Edinburgh Instruments

History & Key Milestones


Edinburgh Instruments (EI) founded as the first private spin-out company on Britain’s first University ‚Research Park‘. The company was founded by Professor Des Smith, OBE, FRS, FRSE, FInstP when Head of the Physics Department at Heriot Watt University.


EI launches its first sealed-off, continuous wave CO laser for the tunable spin-flip Raman laser.


EI develops unique tuneable spin-flip Raman laser for infrared spectroscopic application in Newcastle University.


EI design and launch a range of CS infrared gas lasers (CO, CO2 and optically pumped far infrared).


EI launches its first fluorescence lifetime spectrometer based around a nanosecond flashlamp in co-operation with Strathclyde University.


In collaboration with Heriot Watt University, EI wins the EPIC Award (Education in Partnership with Industry and Commerce, Department of Trade and Industry).

As part of a Marine Technology Initiative with Heriot Watt University, following the opening up of the North Sea for oil and gas exploration, EI begins working on non-dispersive infrared gas sensors for monitoring CO2 in hypebaric environments. First pre-production orders received.

EI invents a technique for gas aspiration to introduce gas into the MYCO2.


EI sets up a joint venture with International Gas Detectors, called EIGD Detectors (IGD).

EI co-opertates with Distillers, to develop potentially the first ever microprocessor controlled CO2 gas sensor, with a digital display, known as The Gasminder.

EI develop a CO2 Monitor for the MoD for submarine escape. It was the first known electronic CO2 monitor to display the Gas Concentration as partial pressure over the range 0.8 to 5 bar.

EI launches a new NDIR Gas Sensor – The OEM Gascard.


EI purchases the rights of fluorescence spectroscopy instruments from Photochemical Research Associates Inc.


EI together with MSA develops Vantage point explosion proof NDIR Hydrocarbon gas sensor.


EI receives Export Award from the Scottish Council Development and Industry.

EI successfully launches the 900 Series of computer automated luminescence spectrometers and the Mini TEA CO2 Laser.

A range of Waveguide CO2 lasers are commercialised in co-operation with Ferranti.


EI wins a development / production contract to work together with Kimmon Electric (Japan) for switched mode power supplies for He:Cd lasers.

EI launches its first Laser Flash Photolysis Spectrometer.


EI wins the John Logie Baird Award for Innovation for the ECO-2 Portable self aspirating CO2 Gas Sensor using re-chargeable batteries. This enables operation from a wide range of DC supplies continuously for up to 20,000 hours.

EI develops a low cost single channel analogue OEM CO2 gas sensor module – the Gascheck.


First contracts agreed for volume supply of gas sensors for HVAC, offshore oil and gas and automobile emission monitoring.

EI co-operates with Vaisala to develop a range of CO2 sensors for commercial and industrial use based on the ULC single channel optical design, using low cost microprocessors and Hamamatsu detectors.

Technology Transfer Agreement for diode pumped solid state lasers with St Andrews University signed.


Hamamatsu Photonics KK (Japan) invests in EI.

Gas Sensors division of EI moves to new custom built premises in Livingston.


EI forms a joint venture with Testo for a handheld CO2 sensor.

EI launches MYCO2, a self-aspirating CO2 monitor for use in mushroom shed and other horticultural markets.

EI launches product updates of the Gascard and Guardian producst to make them fully compliant with EU directors and CE marking.

EI forms a major technical collaboration agreement with Kimmon Electric Co (Japan) for the development of blue DPSS lasers in collaboration with St Andrews University.

EI win the John Logie Baird Award for Innovation due to their development work in diode-pumped solid state lasers.


EI locates all activities to Livingston Headquarters.

EI win R&D contract from City Technology to develop IRceL 4 Series Gas Sensor for CO2 and Hydrocarbons.


Major developments occur with the combined FLS920 fluorescence lifetime and steady state spectrometer.

TCC900 time correlated single photon counting computer card developed and commercialised.


EI develops the IRgaskiT range of small sensor head gas sensors.


Export sales to SE Asia show dramatic growth.

EPL Picosecond pulsed diode laser series launched.


EI launches the OEM Chillcard Sensor for SF6.

EPLED Picosecond pulsed diode laser series launched.


ES launches a new generation of Gascard sensors – the Gascard NG as a replacement to the Gascard II.


The Sensors division launch a new Gas Monitor – the Guardian NG.

EI wins the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade, one of the most coveted awards in UK industry.

The Photonics Division launch the new FLS980 Spectrometer. This combines the ultimate sensitivity with high spectral resolution, setting the industry the standard for both steady state and time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy.


Edinburgh Instruments is acquired by Techcomp Group Ltd.

Mark Vosloo becomes new CEO.

The Photonics Division launch the new FS5 Spectrofluorometer. Designed to meet the highest measurement specifications in both the research and analytical markets.


The Photonics Division launch the new LP980 Transient Absorption Spectrometer. Offering unsurpassed measurement capabilities across a broad range of chemical, physical and biological applications, the LP980 is the first of its kind on the market.


Edinburgh Instruments move into a third building at their Livingston headquarters. This takes office and manufacturing capacity to over 30,000 sq ft.


Dr Roger Fenske becomes new CEO.