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A New Home for Waters Mass Spectrometry

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Waters recently celebrated the official opening of their new, custom-built mass spectrometry headquarters in Wilmslow, UK. The ceremony, attended by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Waters CEO Doug Berthiaume, highlighted the company's commitment to innovation and the expanded usage of this invaluable analytical technique. 

To learn more about the facility and the benefits this provides their collaborators and customers we spoke to Brian Smith, Vice President of Mass Spectrometry Business Operations, Waters Division.

AB: Can you set the scene and tell us a little about the old facility, Waters' connection to the North West and why you felt a new headquarters was required?

Brian Smith: Prior to opening the new Mass Spectrometry Headquarters in Wilmslow, Waters' Mass Spectrometry business operations were based in four separate locations in the Manchester area. This set up limited our efficiency and did not provide the opportunity for customers to visit and understand our overall commitment to advancing this technology. Today's new facility is purpose-built featuring state-of-the-art customer demonstration laboratories, research and development capabilities, and an expanded manufacturing capacity. Science is such a major contributor to the history of Manchester and Waters is honored to be writing a new chapter in its rich heritage with our custom built headquarters in Wilmslow. 

AB: What were the key considerations when it came to planning the new facility?

Brian Smith: The new Waters MS Headquarters was planned to ensure we have the ability to take our high  technology business to the next level. This world class center for mass spectrometry is designed to offer increased access for the world’s scientific thought-leaders which will accelerate the rate of innovation.   


The facility also complements our business and innovation goals as Waters is committed to building a sustainable new facility that protects the local flora and fauna. The building itself was constructed to the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methods) ’very good’ standard. For example, not only does the building employ energy and water saving techniques, Waters also built a new home for the local bat population that lived in the lodge that previously stood on this site. We also refurbished a sunken garden from the original grounds.

AB: We heard that the new facility was designed to enhance collaboration and drive innovation, how will this be achieved and what benefits can your collaborators and customers expect to see?

Brian Smith: The demonstration laboratories and meeting spaces will be at the core of Waters' new MS Headquarters. Our hub is designed for the world’s leading mass spectrometrists, so we plan to hold events and demonstrations that bring Mass Spectrometry experts together to collaborate and further advance scientific discoveries in the future.


AB: Finally can we expect an increase in the number of new products and innovations from Waters as a result of this new facility? 

Brian Smith: Waters prides itself on innovation.  Our mission is to create advantages for analytical laboratories to enable advancements in healthcare delivery, environmental management,  food and water quality, and high valued chemicals. Our new Mass Spectrometry HQ has been developed to support the world’s scientists in their efforts to advance the field of mass spectrometry. As a result, the site will foster ground-breaking innovation that will also help the wider scientific community realize the impact of our commitment to the field.

Brian Smith was speaking to Ashley Board, Managing Editor for Technology Networks.