Science Minister opens National Mass Spectrometry Facility after £3m contract renewal and facility refurbishment

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Edwina Hart, the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, officially opened the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) UK National Mass Spectrometry Facility (NMSF) at Swansea University this week (Tuesday, March 3), after its recent £3m contract renewal and refurbishment.

Edwina Hart NMSF openingFunded by the EPSRC, the mid-range research facility, which is located within the University’s College of Medicine, offers comprehensive mass spectrometry facilities and services for leading university research groups throughout the UK, as well as having some commercial research opportunities.

Swansea University has long been established as a centre of excellence for mass spectrometry, with the siting of the Royal Society Research Unit in 1975 followed by the Mass Spectrometry Research Unit and then the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Centre in 1987. 

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Strategic Development and Professor Keith Lloyd, Dean and Head of the College of Medicine at Swansea University and Professor Andrew Weller, Chair of Management Advisory Panel, NMSF, of the University of Oxford, welcomed invited guests to the opening, which included a tour of the facility with demonstrations.‌

Edwina Hart, the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, said: “A recent Research Excellence Framework report identified that Welsh universities are producing world-class and internationally important scientific research.

“Investing in highly technical facilities like this new mass spectrometer is key to improving this research even further. It is also very pleasing to see Swansea University working in partnership with business to maximise the economic and social benefits of scientific research.”   

NMSFProfessor Keith Lloyd, Dean and Head of the College of Medicine at Swansea University, said: “This facility is one of the four key research council centres in the medical school that helped drive our outstanding performance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework to assess the quality of research in UK universities in which we came equal first in the UK for our research environment.”

Professor Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Advisor for Wales, gave an opening address as part of the afternoon scientific session, which featured a series of lectures from internationally leading scientists including Professor Jim Scrivens, Warwick University; Dr Raymond March, Professor Emeritus at Trent University, Ontario, Canada; Professor Jonathan Williams, University of Bath; and Professor Helen Cooper, University of Birmingham.

For more information on the NMSF visit their website.

Group image (left to right): Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University; Professor Gareth Brenton, Head of the Institute of Mass Spectrometry, College of Medicine; Edwina Hart MBE CStJ AM, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport; Professor Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales; Professor Keith Lloyd, Dean and Head of the College of Medicine.