The company was established to primarily to simplify distribution of the HKL-2000 and HKL program suites. With the growing popularity of these programs, it became necessary to offer support and assistance to the users' community.
The first versions of Denzo and Scalepack, two out of three main components of the HKL program suite, were written by Zbyszek Otwinowski at the University of Chicago between 1983 and 1988, and then at Yale University until 1994. Currently Zbyszek Otwinowski is a Professor at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Wladek Minor, currently a Professor at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine, in Charlottesville, wrote the initial version of the XDisplayF program – the third main component of the HKL package, while at Purdue University between 1988 and 1995. Since 1996, the display program, re-named xdisp, has been further developed at the University of Virginia.
Many utility programs were added over time and the HKL package evolved into more advanced and extended version - the HKL-2000 program. Subsequently, the HKL-2000 program was redesigned to interact with several other macromolecular crystallographic computer programs to add structure determination capabilities. The new package was named HKL-3000.
Every year, since 1997, HKL Research has funded an Award for the most innovative M.Sc. thesis at the Physics Department of the Warsaw University (the Alma Mater of both Authors). Many of the awardees later became members of the Faculty of the Physics or other Departments of the Warsaw University.