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Support for major analytical science initiative

Test tubes

The Community for Analytical Measurement Science (CAMS) aims to strengthen the field of analytical science in the UK. SCI Trustee Professor K Clive Thompson shares an update on the progress of this initiative.

Professor K Clive Thompson

Analytical science is used to identify, separate and quantify matter, and it is essential for many other scientific areas. In 2015, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) published a 21-page review on the state of the UK research area of Analytical Sciences. It presented the issues, concerns and opportunities identified in this field of science.

In doing so, it ‘emphasised the importance of Analytical Sciences as a critical enabler of research and innovation in the UK’, with the following conclusions: -

  • The impact of analytical science is vastly interdisciplinary, affecting science, society and the economy.
  • The panel recommended that action is needed to actively strengthen Analytical Sciences in the UK in order to maintain current strengths and maximise the potential of AS research.
  • There is a recognised risk associated with inaction; with adverse consequences that would be felt across disciplines in UK science.
  • Recognition by key stakeholders of the critical importance of Analytical Sciences is seen as a key factor holding the discipline back from achieving its full potential.
  • There is an urgent need for a centralised lead to address this risk.

As a result, the Community for Analytical Measurement Science (CAMS) RSC Initiative was formed.
CAMS is an industrially-led, strategically connected community, dedicated to supplying world class analytical measurement science (AMS) training, research and innovation.
The aims of the initiative are as follows: -

  • Facilitate recognition of world-class UK analytical measurement science training
  • Facilitate industrially-led research to develop and commercialise novel point-of-use measurement technologies
  • Provide a talent pool with industry-ready transferable skills for the future:
  • Provide access to world-leading analytical measurement capability and instrumentation
  • Support inward investment through overseas measurement community involvement
  • The initiative will leverage the strengths across the UK chemical and bio-analytical measurement science communities through co-ordination of a distributed network of nodes of analytical measurement excellence.

There will be two parts to CAMS-UK: -

  • The Martin-Synge Research Institute: a virtual institute focused on research & innovation.
  • BEAM (Building Effective Analytical Measurement) which will focus on training and networking within the analytical community. 

It is hoped that SCI can become actively involved in this major analytical science initiative especially with respect to BEAM and relevant industry involvement.

Membership of CAMS-UK is free for individuals and for industry would be through one of three tiers of membership each requiring a different level of commitment. There has already been a very positive response to date and significant firm commitment from industry and research councils.

Other models for the management of analytical science that could be considered include the 2008 Dutch initiative, ‘Ti COAST’. 

It is proposed that any significant advances on the progress of this welcome CAMS initiative will be reported to SCI, so that we can support this area of science that has been neglected in the UK for far too long.

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