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M5 Launch the UK's First Regional Equipment Sharing Catalogue

The new M5 Universities website has now been launched, which includes the UK's first regional equipment sharing database, containing specialised equipment that can be shared between the six leading research-intensive Midlands Universities.

The M5 Universities, consisting of Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick, have formed a partnership to enhance the potential of collaborative research and to improve the sharing of equipment. The group is working closely to develop the necessary tools to facilitate effective equipment sharing long into the future, in an attempt to increase the efficiencies in the use of expensive equipment.

The new searchable online database is powered by Loughborough's Kit-Catalogue® system, which was recently shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award and the recipient of an S-Lab Award in June. The system enables the ability to search through public equipment records from each M5 University and includes descriptions and specifications of the equipment, location and contact details for more information and to make bookings. A costing model has also been agreed.

In addition, the M5 group are also exploring the possibility of acquiring jointly procured maintenance/servicing contracts in cases where the registers show clusters of similar equipment across the institutions.

December 2012