Family Owned Company
COPAN (which stands for COllection and Preservation for ANalysis) was founded in 1979 by the late Giorgio Triva in Mantua, Italy. Initially a distribution company for laboratory products, COPAN quickly began manufacturing laboratory products, such as plastic pipets. In 1982, Triva's son, Daniele, a chemical engineer with a specialty in Biotechnology Processing, assumed position of General Manager. An important milestone in the COPAN family history, Daniele worked closely with his father to redefine internal processes, moving the company towards new technological innovations in preanalytics.
Roots in Italy, Worldwide Reach
In 1994, Daniele met Norman Sharples, a Microbiologist and business development manager from Liverpool, UK, and the two expanded COPAN into North America and South America. COPAN Diagnostics, Inc. was established to develop a close connection with the clinical microbiology scientific community in North and South America. As business continued to grow, COPAN expanded into larger manufacturing facilities, and in 2011 opened a business development office in China.
COPAN's vertically integrated approach to manufacturing allows complete control over the entire process to produce one of the best products in the market and to achieve constant technical and quality improvement at a competitive price.
Today, COPAN supplies products worldwide and operates three shifts 24/7 producing hundreds of millions of bacteriology transport swabs, transfer pipets, calibrated plastic inoculation loops, UTM™ viral transport systems and Flocked Swabs per year!
Relentless Innovation, Unsurpassed Collaboration
In the late 1990s, Microbiology began to see a renaissance of interest regarding preanalytics, specifically specimen collection transport devices. COPAN understood from the beginning that while swab transport systems look very similar, performance may vary dramatically. COPAN worked with the Microbiology community to set protocols to test and challenge products, measuring and comparing the performance. Championed by Microbiology leaders and COPAN, in 2003, international published standards for transport swabs were developed. These new standards, CLSI (NCCLS) M40-A, created a new performance benchmark for swab collection and transport systems manufacturers, and solidified COPAN's devotion to excellence in quality and preanalytical and innovation.
COPAN's dedication to collaboration and innovation in Microbiology didn't end there. In the early 2000s, the late Daniele Triva had a breakthrough idea for a type of swab that would be a game changer in the industry and outperform any of the state-of the-art fiber swabs. COPAN's unique quantitative approach to diagnostics and passion for innovation drove research and development, and as a result, in 2004, COPAN invented and introduced the first flocked swabs to the market.
The invention of flocked swabs opened the door for ESwab™, Liquid Based Microbiology and ultimately third generation automation in Microbiology. With knowledge of large scale, custom automation used in manufacturing and close ties to the Microbiology community, COPAN embarked on collaborative automation project. In 2007, the COPAN team bolted two robots onto a Microbiology lab bench, and invited feedback and suggestions from Microbiologists and bench technologists. Less than one year later COPAN launched WASP®DT, the first automated specimen processor in its class. Just four short years later, COPAN launched full lab automation for the Microbiology laboratory with WASPLab™. New generation instruments are named WASP®DT as a tribute to COPAN's beloved, charismatic and eclectic leader, Daniele Triva, who passed away in 2014.
The COPAN Family
COPAN continues to be owned and managed by the Triva Family, with Norman Sharples as the head of North and South American operations.
Everyone at COPAN understands the value of their work and is passionate about it. A testimony to this commitment is the fact that all of the original employees that joined COPAN in 1979 still work at the company and over 1/3 of COPAN Diagnostics, Inc. employees have been with the company for over five years.
COPAN's position as a privately owned company means it has the flexibility to drive success through rapidly responding to customers' needs. From its humble beginnings to its current position as a global market leader in collection and transport systems, COPAN will continue to invest in science and technology to continually improve its knowledge to offer the most innovative and technically diverse product line in its niche market.