Instrument makers at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) in Atlanta last week were generally optimistic about business growth in 2016. “The market appears to be solid now,” said Christopher O’Connell, the new CEO of Waters Corp., a chromatography and mass spectrometry specialist. He expects continued strong demand from China—even though the overall economy there is slowing—because of increased spending on instruments for environmental and food-quality monitoring. Dan Shine, senior vice president of Thermo Fisher Scientific and a member of C&EN’s advisory board, concurred and added that greater availability of government research funding in the U.S. and EU should also help instrument and consumable sales in 2016. Bruker CEO Frank Laukien expects demand from life sciences customers to “be decent, but not spectacular.” At Pittcon, Waters and Thermo Fisher introduced new kits aimed at reducing the burden of sample preparation for proteomics researchers. Start-up firm 908 Devices introduced a new microfluidic chip that is also intended to speed protein sample preparation.