Agilent Technologies Inc. and Waters Corp. has announced a formal agreement to exchange instrument controls to improve the productivity of customers who own software and instruments from both companies.

The new agreement replaces earlier provisions under which Agilent implemented control of Waters instruments in the Agilent OpenLAB chromatography data system and Waters implemented control of Agilent liquid chromatography instruments in Waters Empower Software.

The newly signed agreement defines terms and conditions on how the companies will exchange instrument control documentation and driver software and how they will provide developer and technical support to one another. It also spells out the escalation mechanisms for resolving technical issues for their mutual customers.

“Agilent’s open-systems approach to laboratory informatics allows our customers to select the best hardware and software for their needs,” says John Sadler, Agilent vice president and general manager of software and informatics. “We are integrating a full complement of third-party gas and liquid chromatography instruments into our OpenLAB software suite in collaboration with other analytical instrument manufacturers. Our aim is to provide the best-working and best-tested software for our mutual customers.”

“The trend toward standardization by laboratories for the adoption of a single chromatography data management and instrument control software platform, like Waters Empower Software, is bringing significant value to science-driven organizations at the enterprise level,” says Rohit Khanna, Ph.D., vice president of marketing, Waters Corp. “Renewing this agreement demonstrates Waters’ continued commitment to ensure the success of our mutual customers.”

Waters and Agilent first agreed to exchange instrument control codes in 1999. Over the years, technology exchange and vendor collaboration have become increasingly important in the analytical instrument industry, as there are substantial benefits to the scientific community when they can control instruments from multiple vendors with their chromatography data software.