ICx strengthens bio business with S3I buy

Thursday, June 5, 2008

WASHINGTON--ICx Technologies continued its campaign to diversify its sensor business with the acquisition this week of S3I, a biological threat detection firm that will become a part of ICx BioSystems. The buy brings not only S3I's IBAC (Instantaneous Bioaerosol Analyzer and Collector) sensor platform, which ICx called the market leader, but also brings S3I president Dr. David Silcott, whom ICx BioSystems head Colin Cumming called "a highly respected expert on bio-threat detection, particularly associated with critical infrastructure and force protection."
Earlier this year, ICx purchased PureTech Systems, to bolster its video analytics capabilities.
ICx also recently launched a VAR program, but Cumming said the BioSystems products aren't quite ready for roll out to the integration community. "Today, we're working pretty closely with the end user," he said, "because we're focused with just a handful of them and we want to have a tight relationship with them so we have a very short learning cycle ... As the product offering starts to gel, and it starts to become clear that we've got the 80 percent solution--something that's right for 80 percent of the problems out there--then we're going to transition to the integrators and the VARs. Because ultimately there are a lot of corporate customers our there, and we'd never be able to touch even a fraction of them. The channel touches them."
Cumming estimated that it will take about two years, maybe less, before the BioSystems products are really ready for the integration channel to bring them to the commercial marketplace. When ICx's BioXC and AirSentinel product families are integrated with the IBAC line, commercial customers should have a broad product spectrum to choose from, said Cumming, that will solve a wide range of problems.