One aspect of the College’s commitment to collegiality is equipment-sharing. Major activities include the establishment of a College Research Facilities Advisory Group (CRFAG) consisting of academic and finance representatives from across the College and headed by Professor Paul Freemont, the generation of a Research Facilities Directory and the establishment of SES-5.
The Research Facilities Directory has been created to provide a searchable listing of research facilities and equipment with the aim of enabling collaboration and improving the efficiency and utilisation of existing equipment and facilities.
SES-5 (Science and Engineering South Consortium) has been initiated to pool the collective insights and resources of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Southampton, Imperial College London and University College London. Together, the SES-5 will explore how their shared infrastructure and training can be used to stimulate further international, national and regional synergy whilst further engagement with industry will be sought to promote economic growth. The group will also share major facilities for research in the physical sciences, bio-sciences, and engineering. Projects are already underway that involve sharing facilities for High Performance Computing.
The College also commits to facilitating multi-user equipment sharing through annual Research Showcases and where possible, providing financial support.
- In 2011-12 the College used funding from EPSRC to support projects that aimed to investigate equipment sharing, enabling the identification of ways in which equipment may be shared more easily and widely in future. This included working with other universities (Southampton, UCL, Oxford and Cambridge) to investigate how we can share across institutions as well as supporting PIs in modifying, repairing, providing support staff or training to enable PIs to share their resources internally. The funding supported nine projects in six departments.
- In 2012-13 the College provided resources to support access to facilities for Early Carreer Researchers in order to assist them with creating preliminary data to support future grant and fellowship applications. The funding supported five researchers in four departments.
- In 2012-13 the College provided resources to support activities to enhance the sharing capabilities of facilities and equipment at Imperial. Such activities included but were not limited to: modification, upgrade, training provision, development of web resources. The funding supported four facilities.