Discover and share good practice for smarter working universities

Productive efficiencies in higher education – three case studies

These case studies were selected from the report ‘Making the best better – efficiency and effectiveness in higher education’, produced by Sarah Jackson of the N8 Research Partnership on secondment to BIS.

Deal improves access to cloud and high performance computing for scientists

Researchers are beginning to rely on cloud computing to drive breakthrough science at breakneck speeds. An agreement between Jisc and Amazon Web Services in the UK makes it possible for all scientists to have their very own supercomputers in the cloud.

Do you speak laboratory?

The S-Lab: Supporting World Class Science programme aims to improve laboratory efficiency and effectiveness in all dimensions, including scientific value, resource efficiency and staff well-being. S-Lab director Peter James discusses the crucial role of estates and facilities in supporting these objectives.
Scientific research equipment

Raising the return: the benefits and opportunities from equipment sharing

Sharing equipment will be a key theme in Professor Sir Ian Diamond’s forthcoming report on efficiency in higher education. Sarah Jackson and Luke Georgiou introduce findings from the study of this activity which show that it is helping to advance scientific research while delivering value to the public purse.

Equipment sharing: how to make an impact (and evidence it)

Dr Hamish McAlpine from the University Bath and Dr Steve Trowell from the University of Exeter talk about the simple steps we can take to become more efficient in how we support equipment through its life. These steps are also very amenable to measurement, offering the opportunity to benchmark and improve over time.
N8 logo

Northern 8 Universities (N8) equipment sharing toolkit launched

The N8 Equipment Sharing Toolkit (EST) was launched in February 2014 at the University of Manchester. Sarah Fulton from the University of Sheffield explains the open and collaborative process behind the project's success.

S-Lab Conference and Awards 2014: Supporting World Class Science

The HECFE funded S-Lab initiative is holding its Awards Dinner and ‘Supporting World Class Science’ conference at King’s College, London on 1-3 September 2014. The event provides a great opportunity to share experience and gain insight on ways of improving laboratory effectiveness and efficiency, and therefore freeing up more resource for actual science.

Kit-Catalogue – making sharing easier

Kit-Catalogue is a online database that can help universities to keep track of equipment, internal and external technology gaps and also to identify equipment sharing opportunities. Developed by Loughborough University and funded by Jisc, promotes better use of assets within and between institutions and makes them available for public and commercial application.

Making better use of spare lab capacity

An online tool that has been described as Airbnb for laboratories is enabling researchers for private sector firms in the USA to buy time in university laboratories with spare capacity, the Economist reports.
Adrian Cox

Using equipment.data to make research equipment more discoverable

Adrian Cox, based at the University of Southampton, is project manager for equipment.data, an EPSRC funded project in response to the need to improve visibility and utilisation of UK higher education research equipment. We sat down for a ten minute chat with Adrian to find out exactly what equipment.data is all about and how it’s creating opportunities for efficiencies among institutions UK wide.