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M5 Universities launch online equipment sharing database

The M5 group of Midlands research-intensive universities have launched a new website which includes a searchable database detailing each piece of equipment that can be shared across all M5 universities.

The group - the University of Warwick along with Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, and Aston – was established to boost research collaboration and improve sharing of equipment.

The group are developing the tools needed to make such sharing work in future and hope this will lead to increased efficiencies in terms of use of expensive equipment.

The new searchable online database includes details of the equipment that can be shared, its location and contact details for more information and to make bookings.

The M5 group are also beginning to explore if they can take such equipment sharing further into jointly procuring maintenance and servicing contacts if they find they have clusters of similar equipment across the institutions that could be brought under single service contracts.