ABEC, Inc.

ABEC designs and manufactures bioreactors and fermentors for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The reactors are used to grow cell cultures used by the pharmaceutical industry for production of vaccines and other cell-based drugs. ABEC has more than 30 years experience and each ABEC bioreactor is customdesigned by in-house engineers.

ABEC approached the SBDC International Program located at Lehigh University. At the time, the company was selling to domestic pharmaceutical companies and to their subsidiaries overseas. They recognized a growing demand for their reactors in foreign markets and sought assistance in market selection and market entry methods.

The Lehigh University Small Business Development Center’s International Business Assistance Program Director also serves as the regional office for Pennsylvania’s extensive trade promotion operations and began assisting ABEC with focused research projects and they introduced ABEC to Pennsylvania’s trade representatives. Market assessments were forwarded to ABEC and outreach to prospective distributors, end-users and government health officials on behalf of the company were conducted by Pennsylvania’s representatives stationed throughout the world. Based on these findings, ABEC initiated an aggressive global marketing effort to begin direct sales to foreign buyers.

During the last 3 years, international sales of ABEC reactors have more than doubled and are continuing to grow at a rapid pace. The company’s global distribution network is growing to meet the demand for reactor sales and service. Both the SBDC International Program and the PA Trade reps supplied market research and buyer introductions which confirmed that ABEC’s product line is both unique and highly cost competitive. ABEC continues to utilize Pennsylvania’s trade program and along with the US Department of Commerce they are building international momentum. They are currently working closely with BIS as they will need to acquire an export license for upcoming shipments.

This year ABEC was a recipient of the US Department of Commerce Export Achievement Award. This award was created to recognize small and medium sized enterprises and organizations that have successfully entered the international marketplace for the first time or that have successfully entered a new market.

ABEC serves as a prime example of a US manufacturer stressing high quality and unique technologies that leveraged state and federal trade promotion resources to investigate and capitalize on foreign market opportunities. They recognize the global market potential; they acted quickly to establish their international platform; they recognize the importance of the international market for the company’s future vitality and prosperity, and they are dedicated to doing what it takes to achieve continued success.