M5 Universities launch online equipment sharing database

The University of Birmingham is part of the M5 group of Midlands research-intensive universities which was established to boost research collaboration and improve sharing of equipment.  The other M5 universities are Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Warwick and Aston.

The M5 group has just launched a new website which includes a searchable database detailing each piece of equipment that can be shared across all M5 universities. The new searchable online database includes details of the equipment that can be shared, its location and contact details for more information and to make bookings. A costing model has also been agreed. The web site url is www.m5universities.ac.uk

The group are developing  a range of tools needed to make such sharing work in future and hope this will lead to increased efficiencies in terms of use of expensive equipment. They are also beginning to explore if they can take such equipment sharing further into jointly procuring maintenance / servicing contacts if the registers show clusters of similar equipment across the institutions that could be brought under single service contracts.