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Instrument makers invest in cloud computing

Thermo Fisher, Waters, and others emphasize informatics at Pittcon conference

by Marc S. Reisch
March 13, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 11

Thermo Fisher Scientific has acquired Core Informatics, a fast-growing, venture-capital-backed provider of cloud-based scientific data management systems with about 100 employees.

Thermo Fisher announced the purchase last week at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) in Chicago. It underscored the growing importance for instrument makers of systems capable of handling, storing, and manipulating the flood of data from today’s scientific instruments.

“Their cloud-based offerings are more discovery oriented, while what we already had supported quality control and quality analysis in manufacturing processes,” explained Dan Shine, analytical instruments president at Thermo Fisher. “They will integrate seamlessly into what we already have.”

Also at Pittcon, Waters Corp. launched the cloud version of its Empower chromatography data management system. “The cloud has changed the way the world interacts with data,” said Steve Smith, Waters’ informatics vice president, by “allowing companies to focus on science and not the infrastructure.”

Managing information through cloud-based software is part of PerkinElmer’s strategy too, said Jim Corbett, head of the firm’s discovery and analytical solutions unit.

Instruments are generating more data than they did just a few years ago, and scientists need a way to sort through it all, Corbett said. Cloud-based software systems make that possible, he noted. PerkinElmer made its own informatics acquisition with the purchase of laboratory software and services firm Ceiba Solutions in 2014.

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