Reportedly, Bruker and Kiestra Lab Automation have worked with a number of customers applying both technologies in their laboratories. Together with the Academical Medical Center (Amsterdam), the Jeroen Bosch Hospital (Den Bosch), Leiden University Medical Center (Leiden) and Streeklab Haarlem (Haarlem), both companies applied for the European Research Initiative ‘Eureka.’

The Eureka R&D is lead by industry and is focused on new customer requirements. In addition to integration of both technologies, a goal of the Bacteriology Identification and Sensitivity System (BISS) project is to enable unattended 24/7 operation for bacterial identification.

Jetze Botma, chief executive officer of Kiestra Lab Automation, said: “It is remarkable to see how relatively new players in the microbiology market have changed the competitive landscape in the last couple of years. The trends of consolidation of laboratories and of centralizing microbiology laboratory services will further increase the demand for professional automation solutions.

“In addition, an early identification by the Maldi Biotyper in many cases can already initiate a germ-specific therapy, which leads to a significant increase in laboratory and hospital efficacy. The effective combination of both technologies will help to ease the burden on the healthcare system.”

Wolfgang Pusch, vice president of clinical research solutions and IVD at Bruker Daltonics, said: “This strategic partnership with Kiestra Lab Automation is a match for Bruker. Each of our technologies alone has been quite successful already, and in combination they could change the way microbiology is performed in many routine labs.

“Kiestra´s technology brings the same level of automation into the microbiology lab that was introduced in clinical chemistry 15 years ago. Moreover, the Maldi Biotyper reduces the identification turnaround time for patient samples. Both technologies integrated together will help microbiology laboratories to perform their important tasks faster and better, despite a predicted shortage in experienced laboratory staff.”