UK MS Large Infrastructure Bid Proposal

Over the past 10 years, the British Mass Spectrometry Society has helped to develop the case for a UK-wide infrastructure in Mass Spectrometry. There has been substantial and sustained investment in mass spectrometry from UKRI and other funders over the past 20 years, and yet there is no central coordination of our capability.

In 2015 John Langley hosted a discussion to consider what the national need was with regards to MS data, and how we could coordinate activity. From those early discussions and many more with the wide user base a vision for mass spectrometry in the UK was developed.

Starting in 2018, BMSS MS Vision project ran a DEPHI study, which led to a Statement of Need submitted to EPSRC in 2021, introducing the idea of a nationally distributed hub-and-spoke model. In January 2022 a Town Hall Meeting was convened with input from over 240 participants, representing academia, industry, and manufacturers. Documents from these activities can be found at the bottom of the page.

Following further consultation with UKRI, learned societies, industry, HEIs and other stakeholders, a modified proposal termed Critical Mass UK (C-MASS) emerged. Although no longer a BMSS project from this point, the BMSS continued to act as a key conduit to the UK MS community, with briefings and feedback sessions at BMSS annual meetings.

In the course of this work, it became clear that developments in high throughput and high precision mass spectrometry would lead to vast data resources and that coordinated action was required to best benefit from this. A working model was established whereby a hub would coordinate nodes of research activity.

These discussions led to a bid by the Research Councils to the Infrastructure Advisory Committee panel overseeing prioritisation for the UK Infrastructure Fund in September 2023.        

This proposal has been developed over the past 10 years with the backing of more than 40 higher education institutes, 35 industrial partners and numerous research institutes.

Many individuals from these organisations have contributed to this bid, which is driven by the need to maximise our capability and capacity in mass spectrometry, and develop a catalyst for further investment in UK MS, including areas such as instrument development. By sharing and collaborating we will have the Critical Mass to solve 21st century challenges in health, materials and the environment.

The C-MASS Coordination Team

Professor Alison Ashcroft, University of Leeds - BMSS Past President
Professor Perdita Barran, University of Manchester
Dr Tony Bristow, AstraZeneca - BMSS Past Chair
Dr Rosalind Le Feuvre, University of Manchester
Dr Anneke Lubben, University of Bath
Dr Jackie Mosely, University of York - BMSS Past Chair
Professor Gavin O’Connor, PTB and TU Braunschweig  - BMSS Past Chair
Professor Neil Oldham, University of Nottingham - BMSS Chair
Professor Konstantinos Thalassinos, University College London



Presentation at BMSS43

This presentation was delivered at the BMSS Annual Meeting in 2023 to update on progress.


Presentation at BMSS42

This presentation was delivered at the BMSS Annual Meeting in 2022 to update on progress.


Town Hall Meeting Summary Report


Town Hall Meeting Introductory Slides

These slides inform on the background of this project to bid to the UKRI large infrastructure fund. As part of that, this includes slides from EPSRC perspective of what the UKRI large infrastructure fund is.


Presentation at BMSS41

This presentation was delivered at the BMSS annual meeting in 2021 to update on progress.


Statement of Need - submitted to EPSRC Feb 2021


Presentation to UKRI - 23rd Nov 2020


Final report to UKRI: MS UK Vision


SWOT analysis slides