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N8 Assets Meeting Wednesday 14 th March MBS, University of Manchester.

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Presentation on theme: "N8 Assets Meeting Wednesday 14 th March MBS, University of Manchester."— Presentation transcript:

1 N8 Assets Meeting Wednesday 14 th March MBS, University of Manchester.

2 Background May 2011: N8 PVCs discussing new approaches to asset sharing July 2011: N8 assets project formed: EPSRC support and funding Sept 2011: Project Manager appointed: private sector background, experience of asset sharing Project workshops, engage all RCUK, BIS, HEFCE: –29 September 2011 –14 March 2012

3 Asset Collaboration – Project Overview Growth Excellence Collaboration Access to a world leading research asset base in chosen areas beyond 2012 N8 Leadership - addressing cost, cultural and logistical barriers to sharing 1 Simple, shared, accessible asset register 2 Engage national facilities, optimise use of medium scale 4 Effective business model for access and costings 3 Engage with RCUK Development of new proposals for assets 6 Asset analysis and acquisition strategy 5 N8 Mission Collaboration objective Deliverables 1-6 Engage with RCUK

4 Workstream 1 Cost, Cultural and Logistic Barriers to Equipment Sharing Luke Georghiou, Deborah Cox and Thordis Sveinsdottir The University of Manchester

5 Work strand 1 - Work to date 22 interviews –Sixteen Academics (some of which manage research facilities) –Four experimental officers/technicians –Two people from Finance Fields –Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Marine Research Field Visits undertaken –University Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester

6 Key preliminary findings Scientists already share their equipment to a great extent –Within their research group –Within already formed collaboration networks –Ad hoc with people they know and trust Scientists are positive about sharing but apprehensive about how greater sharing obligations will be implemented Scientists are more positive about sharing assets that they do not perceive as theirs Issues of personalisation of equipment could prove to be a difficult barrier if the intention is to share equipment that scientists already own

7 Cost Barriers Higher insurance costs with changing usage patterns? Higher maintenance costs with increased usage Dedicated support staff –Assistance and service –Training (health and safety, correct usage) Other facilities for visiting academics –Lab space –Office space

8 Cultural Barriers Science is competitive – status and economic resources Concerns about confidentiality and intellectual property What is in it for me? –will sharing equipment result in REF accredited papers? –sharing will delay my/my research groups work –I want to use my time working on my own research

9 Logistic Barriers Some equipment is required locally –is used by the researcher/group daily –to test samples before going to a shared facility –to train under- and postgraduate students Some equipment is unsuitable for sharing Scientists are willing to travel only for –high end/state of the art equipment –well maintained equipment that is fully functional –well staffed equipment –good overall service/research space –if travel and accommodation are funded

10 Suggestions Draw on the already positive attitude that scientists have towards sharing –Make use of already established networks –Encourage the building of new networks –Make up to date equipment/facilities information available to increase trust Academics are also very positive about their use of core facilities –Equipment and space is perceived as more neutral –Equipment has dedicated support staff –Facility offers training –Equipment is adequately maintained

11 Core Facilities - tensions However, core facilities need to be able to cover costs and make profit to renew and fix equipment (classification of facility) Tension between income generation vs. doing good science External vs. internal service – tensions if facility is part of a university Expensive to run: –Very expensive equipment –High maintenance costs –Staff costs

12 Workstream 2 Asset Register Classification System and Web interface Development Edmund Linfield & Gavin Burnell University of Leeds

13 Overview Workstrand 2 Objectives N8 Developments Progress at Leeds Developments beyond the N8

14 Workstrand 2 Objectives Objectives –A three level taxonomy of equipment function that can classify all equipment > £25k; –A standard data schema for equipment items in asset registers; –A web based interface to the asset register for internal/external searches on equipment; –A web based interface which will allow key researchers, responsible for individual equipment items, to update technical information about their equipment directly.

15 Status at Sheffield meeting September 2011 Equipment >£25k in Leeds categorized: –Faculties of: Engineering; Medicine and Health; Biological Sciences; Environment; Maths and Physical Sciences; and Performance Visual Arts and Communications; Over 1100 items of equipment in total; Items fitted into a three-level taxonomy – Copy tabled; Classification of each item, together with key information, now being incorporated into corporate database, SAP.

16 Status at Sheffield meeting September 2011 (2) Current data schema for classification: –Three-level categorization and grouping; Owner; Technical Contact; Location; Anticipated Lifetime; Usable Condition and Availability; Supplier; Age of Equipment; Service Contract Status; Database Administrator appointed: –Catherine Wearing (; (0113) 3430156); Data for 650 items now loaded into SAP: – with data verification taking place; Qlikview now being used to view equipment.

17 N8 Progress Leeds Equipment Meeting – November 2011, key N8 contacts discussed the N8 data schema, taxonomy and equipment database solutions. Leeds is working with other N8 universities offering advice on developing their equipment databases. N8 Universities are classifying all equipment >£25k using the taxonomy. Additional genera have been identified and added to the taxonomy (circulated Jan 2012). The N8 taxonomy will be updated and published at the end of March and the final N8 taxonomy will be published at the end of June 2012.

18 N8 Progress (2) The N8 data schema has been compiled and circulated (list of core data that each university will collect about their equipment and which will be available to view on a searchable N8 website). A subset of the N8 data schema will be used to search for equipment on a shared N8 website. Additional data fields can be used in each N8 Universities internal searchable database.

19 Data schema Data FieldDescription Manufacturer Model Number Technical Identifier A free text field that is used for a local name that distinguishes between similar equipment items. Is a sub-part of a larger instrument/facility Identifies whether this equipment item is part of another (larger) equipment item or facility and which facility. Description Free text Classification One or more genera from the taxonomy Images Other Documents User manuals, sample results, extended descriptions. Host Organisation Academic school or research unit in which instrument is housed. Academic Manager and contact details Academic with overall management responsibility for the equipment item, including access e.g. PI on purchasing grant and their email and telephone contact details. Technical Contact and contact details Experimental officer, technician or PDRA who can answer specific technical questions about the equipment item and their email and telephone contact details. Campus

20 External Web Based Interface Leeds Internal Searchable Database -Qlikview is currently being used to search for all equipment >£25K. Leeds External Searchable Database - Available end of March 2012. -Researchers and technical staff responsible for equipment can update information about their equipment directly on the website and add additional information e.g. images (available May 2012).

21 System Demonstration

22 b) Equipment Cluster - X-Ray Diffraction a) Pie Charts showing the percentage distribution of X-ray diffraction equipment at the University of Leeds by a) School and b) Manufacturer.

23 Equipment Cluster - Mass Spectrometry a)b) Pie Charts showing the percentage distribution of mass spectrometry equipment at the University of Leeds by a) School and b) Manufacturer.

24 Equipment Cluster - Chromatography Pie Charts showing the percentage distribution of chromatography equipment at the University of Leeds by a) School and b) Manufacturer. b)a)

25 Equipment Cluster Meetings - Outcomes Equipment Cluster Meetings have been held for:- Chromatography, Electron Microscopy, Mass Spectrometry, Raman Spectroscopy, Surface Probe Microscopes and X-Ray Diffraction. The meetings generated enthusiasm for working together across the clusters and the immediate, medium term and long term actions resulting from the meetings include: - Immediate actions equipment cluster web pages equipment cluster mailing lists

26 Equipment Cluster Meetings – Outcomes Medium term actions industry open days combined internal and external training courses combined service contracts Long term actions standardised risk assessments shared technical support Potential for equipment clusters across the N8.

27 Further developments in Leeds - N8 Research Equipment System The N8 searchable front end webpage will link to each N8 partners research equipment inventory system. N8 partners would need to implement their own translation layers between the published Web Services API and their own corporate information systems.

28 Beyond the N8… M5 (Universities of Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick). S5 (Universities of Cambridge, Imperial, Oxford, UCL and Southampton). SETsquared Partnership (Universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey). JISC Bid - collaboration with M5, S5 and SETsquared. -UK Workshop to discuss data schema, taxonomy and IT solutions. -Leeds is leading on the taxonomy and representing the N8 with assistance from Manchester.

29 Issues Identified Non – FEC costed research (PhD students) Technical support for external activities Need for sustained funding for infrastructural support to maximise equipment utilisation

30 Milestones M2.1: First draft taxonomy and data schema available for distribution to N8 (1 August 2011) – complete; M2.2: Data schema standardised across N8 (31 January 2012) - complete; M2.3: Final sign-off of taxonomy across N8 (30 June 2012); M2.4: Externally-visible searchable web based front end for Leeds inventory (1 March 2012); M2.5: Updatable technical information storage through web based front end (30 June 2012); M2.6: Evaluation of potential for Cloud hosting of N8 equipment inventories (30 June 2012).

31 Immediate Next Steps Release of Leeds external searchable equipment website; Evaluation of potential for Cloud hosting of combined N8 inventory search; Capability for achieving long term management functions: – booking of equipment, charging for access, H&S implementation;

32 Workstream 3 Business models for access and costings Main messages and outputs Richard Jones University of Sheffield

33 Workstrand 3 Objective Propose and agree with the N8 preferred business models and underlying principles for the effective sharing of equipment with a value of >£25K. Developing best practice case studies of currently shared equipment resources, concentrating in particular on Cloud, Imaging and NMR. The models will demonstrate different methods for access and costing equipment, highlighting the strengths and weakness of each and their applicability to different research scenarios.

34 Workstrand 3 Objective Charging models: What are the methods for calculating clear, sustainable, and fair access charges? What are the VAT implications? Access: How is spare capacity identified and communicated? How is access to the equipment prioritised, granted, and scheduled? Legal arrangements: Who owns the data generated by shared equipment? Who has liability for any damage or injury?

35 Workstrand 3 Objective Technical arrangements: Is the equipment available on a service, managed access or self-service basis? What level of support and training are available? Administrative arrangements: How is the equipment managed? How are the contracts and invoices handled? Culture: How was the culture of sharing developed? Are research staff willing to travel to use the equipment? How do we propose to foster the required culture for effective sharing?

36 Progress: Charging models: Methods for calculating clear, sustainable, and fair access charges? VAT implications? TRAC guidance defines two different sorts of research facility: major research facilities (MRF) apply to any facility with annual running costs of £300k or more; and small research facilities (SRF) which have running costs of less than £300k. The cost models have been in place for some years and give a realistic view of the true cost of running the facility. The cost model has reasonable flexibility to meet individuals needs.

37 Progress: Charging models: Basic elements-good practice –Replacement cost depreciation (this is a notional cost, calculated regardless of how the equipment was originally funded). Compulsory for MRF, optional SRF –Estates cost if material (if not charged to the facility directly, these will be calculated by the Costing and Pricing team from 2010/11 TRAC costs) –Technician cost if material (if not charged to the facility directly, only the proportion of cost which is not directly incurred on research projects is allowable) –Academic staff cost if material (if not charged to the facility directly, only the proportion of cost which is not directly incurred on research projects is allowable). –Consumables and spare parts

38 Progress: Charging models: Operational observations Depreciation – For MRF, rules are set. For SRF there is a wide variation in practice, from those who do not include, to those who include full depreciation. Estates Cost – Many SRFs do not include an Estates charge, which is effectively covered through the space charge paid by the host department. However, many include this cost together with the depreciation cost. VAT- VAT need not be charged. 3 examples of best practice are available from UoS

39 Access: How is spare capacity identified and communicated? How is access to the equipment prioritised, granted and scheduled? Examples of best practice of Access and Equipment Scheduling already exist, supported by local decision making by the facility managers A flexible approach is required- external access needs must be tensioned against internal needs. This requires the wisdom of the local managers Having dedicated managers to run facilities is central to ensuring widespread access Currently, most external access to equipment is agreed through word of mouth, collaborative research and so on. There is much scope for better on-line descriptions of equipment and its spare capacity

40 Legal Agreements: Who owns the data generated by shared equipment? Who has liability for any damage or injury? The legal and IPR agreements need to be based around a standard sliding scale template and agreed on a case by case basis –If a guest organisation is paying industry rates to use the facility, then the data is owned by that organisation –Equally, where the guest organisation is paying full cost and is providing an equipment operator, then the guest organisation would expect to own the IPR –However, organisations not paying full cost/industry rates and who rely on the intellectual input of the host equipment operator would negotiate with the facility manager and agree an individual IPR arrangement –The need for strong data management and security is a key issue. Data storage back up is essential for internally and externally owned data, with the associated costs recognised in the cost model The liability for damage caused by visiting researchers was something that the facility owner must take into consideration. This would determine whether or not a visitor would operate the equipment themselves.

41 Technical Arrangements: Is the equipment available on a service, managed access or self-service basis? What level or support and training are available? Technical arrangements needed to be considered on a case by case basis relative to the equipment available in the facility- access could be any of service, managed access or self-service. Clearly, the complexity of operation of the equipment varies. The facility managers must have the relevant knowledge and understanding to provide a bespoke and responsive service.

42 Administrative Arrangements: How is the equipment managed? How are the contracts and invoices handled? General payment process management would be based around agreed university terms and conditions and executed on an individual basis for each facility Securing payment upfront is a methodology currently utilised by many facilities in the university and lessened the administrative burden of issuing individual bills and invoices.

43 Culture: How was the culture of sharing developed? How do we propose to foster the required culture for effective sharing? The culture for equipment sharing has changed across institutions in recent years although there is much further work needed to highlight the benefits and promote the importance of change Good practice has been driven by a) the positive attitudes of the academics involved and b) the need to balance the books to run the facility Management processes and policies need to move in-line with any cultural changes to promote and support their implementation Improved culture will require a senior management lead

44 Main Messages and Outputs Business models are in place for MRF and SRFs, that have been used for some years and have been shown to be robust. They allow the flexibility to suit local circumstances and can be applied to all equipment. Examples of best practice are available, which have evolved through years of experience. Much work needs to be done to identify spare capacity, publicise it and ensure a culture of equipment sharing. This requires a senior management lead.

45 Workstream 4 Strategy for engagement using national facilities and opportunities for optimising the use of medium-scale facilities Tom McLeish Durham University

46 Objectives –Recommendation on implications of asset sharing –Identify Medium scale facilities to optimise use –Recommendation on PGR training and access Key Milestone –Submit case for 1 st medium-scale facility – October 2011

47 What are the Characteristics of national/medium scale facilities? Unique equipment in UK Inheritance of a long development programme Access to extreme sample environments Link with equipment manufacturer

48 Centre of Excellence in Diffraction Science(CoEDS) - Durham Low-Temp -271° C Future: In-situ Raman Spect. Gas membrane Cell High Intensity Ag source High Pressure DUBruckerEPSRC N8 structural biology pharmaceutical chemistry solar energy devices battery materials Sensors switchable devices catalysis

49 Exemplar Progress Report: CoEDS EPSRC sought resubmission to sift panel (March 2012): –Distinctiveness between development facility vs national standards (Southampton, Diamond) –Clarity over PDRA resource Development Access – Sustainability –Strategic map of science programme onto EPSRC landscape.

50 Issues Resources –Dedicated technical staff and support –Managers/structure –Service or user-run? Balancing external and internal use –Usage limits, balance of use (too much/too little)? –Set-up/re-calibration of equipment Cost recovery –Maintainence, damage, staff, infrastructure, depreciation Charging model –User expectations, PAYG?, grant costing/ECR discount?

51 Best Practices Dedicated technical support Dedicated facilities management –Structure to show how facility benefits Communication between facility management and users Realistic list of services the facility can offer –Price list Cost recovery Link to equipment manufacturers?

52 The Future Equipment database, taxonomy Medium scale portfolio –Adding to Durham example –Using good examples throughout the N8 Protocols for sharing –Developed with facility managers/N8 Encouragement of shared facility use within N8

53 Workstream 6 Opportunities for growth through new assets Capital investment Road map Jon Saunders University of Liverpool

54 Workstrand 6 objectives Identify new opportunities and develop bids Identify Industry wants Equipment manufacturer collaboration opportunities Procurement pipeline

55 Main Messages and Outputs List of ideas drawn up by individual universities built into N8 list N8 Innovation forum is co-creating asset ideas (eg accelerated materials discovery) N8 List will be prepared for the RCUK consulation Most attractive opportunities selected by N8 PVCs and jointly prepared and supported (HPC,NMR)

56 N8 Shared capital opportunities Autonomous systems development labs 3D Imaging UK DNA/Biobank Link Low background Measurement facility GRID Computing TEM Radio technology Centre High Temperature materials testing lab Renewable energy Lab Nuclear plant simulator Centre Imaging – DEXA/MRI/Super res light microscope Nanotechnology network Structural Molecular biology network Industry Innovation forum ideas in preparation 1GHz NMR/ NMR regional NMR strategy 600MHz Solid state NMR (MRC) High Performance computing (EPSRC) IdeasPreparationSubmittedSuccessful

57 Workstream 5 Asset analysis and acquisition strategy Case Studies Nick Wright Newcastle University

58 Workstrand objectives An analysis of strengths and weaknesses across the N8 in key equipment areas Suggested areas for investment taking into account both academic and business growth Strategy for future equipment investment across the N8

59 Main Messages and Outputs NMR for biology selected as case study for N8 High Performance Computing opportunity pursued

60 Workstream 5 continued N8 Regional HPC Centre of Excellence Chris Taylor University of Manchester

61 Background N8 asset-sharing initiative –high-end computing (HEC) identified as potential target –Chris Taylor agrees to lead HEC project ( 7 th Dec 2011) EPSRC call for proposals ~12 th Dec 2011 –Regional HPC Centres of Excellence –support for multi-disciplinary research –collaboration with and access for industry –£10M to establish ~ six centres –proposals 5 th January, capital spend by 31 st March PVCs agree on N8 bid 16 th Dec 2011

62 Preparing the Proposal Key decisions –lead applicants (Chris Taylor, Manchester; David Hogg, Leeds) –location (Leeds) –scale (5000+ cores, £3.2M) –technology (latest Intel processors) –governance (commissioner-provider model) Key components –science and engineering case –support from industry and local economy –procurement and technology partnership –future upgrade and sustainability

63 Key Success Factors (1) Established N8 relationship –mutual trust –commitment to asset-sharing –commitment to multi-disciplinary research N8 Industrial Innovation Forum –established partnership model –28 letters of support from industry Existing technical collaboration –regional grids –HPC SIG

64 Key Success Factors (2) Strength of scientific/engineering case –world-class computational science and engineering –alignment with industrial base Ease/practicality of sharing –existing intra-institution shared HPC –vanilla technology –location-insensitive, fair-share allocation Attraction of N8 to suppliers –strategic partnership –prioritisation of new technology delivery

65 Workstream 5 Asset analysis and acquisition strategy Case Study – NMR for Biology in N8 John Weir N8

66 Workstrand objective Examine scientific opportunity and propose way ahead for leading edge biological NMR in N8

67 Preparation Step 1 Bring together N8 NMR experts – Sheffield 23/1 Evaluate the scientific opportunities Understand available capability and capacity Engage with UK NMR infrastructure meeting

68 Research Interest – Biological NMR

69 The N8 scientific opportunity Catalysis of phosphoryl transferase. Broadly applicable. Industrially relevant, difficult big proteins, longer time scale, bring more targets into the realm of NMR (517 Kinases), de-risking drug targets. Relevant to aging and infection. Ameloid proteins – relevant to ageing, protein aggregation and folding. 1GHz advantage – enables structural study of these proteins. Industrially relevant – Parkinsons and Alzheimers Good fit across N8 Bacterial biofilm and molecular interactions Enables study of proteins currently out of NMR range Polymeric sugars and dispersion and nucleic acids Ligand/macromolecule interactions Strong private sector interest, Membrane proteins

70 Main Messages and Outputs Useful - N8 Community of NMR experts forming N8 view of Research interest and capability Realisation – opportunity –Ultra high field –N8 NMR strategy consistent with national approach Next steps –Next meeting 22/3 – develop opportunities –Engage with Research bodies, –Continue engagement with CCPN

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