Research equipment and infrastructure are key components of all academic institutions, providing essential space and technology for researchers to work on the most complex of problems. Setting up, accessing, utilising and promoting the right equipment costs both time and money to researchers and universities, raising the desire to share equipment across disciplines and institutions.
In our new “Spotlight on…” series, we will be shining essential light on the managed facilities and equipment which make ground-breaking research possible within and outside of our institutions, reducing the barriers to information on what systems are available, how to access them, what they’re already being used for and the impact of this research. We want to help researchers better understand what kind of equipment they need, and give equipment managers the ability to promote their facilities, increasing utilisation and impact.
Adrian Cox, Project Manager on Equipment.data at The University of Southampton elaborates that:
“One possible approach to demonstrating ‘efficiency’ and ‘value for money’ is to link economic and research impact to the utilisation of research facilities and equipment. This could be achieved using data that is already captured, resulting in little to no additional overheads, although will require a degree of harmonisation to enable the data to be combined and compared effectively”
Alongside measurable data and analytics, the SES “Spotlight on…” series aims to support better practice in equipment sharing and reporting at our institutions. A first edition is due out soon. In the meantime, make sure to check out Cox’s full article, Measuring Equipment Utilisation: Could Impact be the Answer.