Jisc is working with Universities UK, Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to operationalise the sharing of equipment and facilities between institutions and, where appropriate, with industry. Building on the successful development and launch of equipment.data, we are engaging with EPSRC and the University of Southampton to ensure ongoing support for its delivery as a sustainable national service.
We are pleased to announce that over the next year we will integrate the national portal into the Jisc cloud infrastructure, build better interoperability with other shared services and will test and implement improvements requested by the user community. This will be via a two-phased approach. In the first phase and over the next few months, we will transfer equipment.data onto the Jisc infrastructure. We will continue to offer the same level of support to institutions that would like to contribute to the portal. The second phase will involve gathering and testing the features and enhancements that will align equipment.data with the evolving policies on equipment sharing, and enable more benefits for the end-users. We have already undertaken a market research exercise that has helped to define an initial set of requirements and key areas for enhancement. Jisc will be publishing the full report and present the outcomes at the S-Lab conference in at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts on June 7.
We are also currently piloting a complimentary development, Kit Catalogue, a software package developed by Loughborough University. Kit Catalogue provides institutions with a user friendly web based interface to record the details of their equipment, including the capability to feed selected entries automatically into equipment.data. In addition to supporting the cataloguing of equipment, we will look at the potential for standard agreements, building on the Brunswick Agreements and Jisc’s High Performance Computing (HPC) agreement.
Suggestions are welcome and we would like to engage with all, with the aim of building a service that is both valuable for institutions and helpful to researchers in finding new avenues for sharing equipment and collaboration.
Please do contact Daniela Duca (senior co-design manager, Jisc, firstname.lastname@example.org) with any queries or to share any ideas.
Daniela Duca, Senior co-design manager, Jisc