The N8 PVCs, directors of research operations and national funding partners met at the University of Manchester on 14 March 2012 to review progress, test findings, and highlight key issues relating to asset collaboration between the N8 universities.
National funding partners including Universities UK (UUK), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) met with N8 to further discuss asset collaboration.
The N8 universities have over 8,200 academic researchers, and operate through an established PVC Group which has developed a number of joint research programmes. This experience of collaborative working, partnership and trust can be applied to develop new ways of working to maximise the use of new and existing research assets.
Presentations were made by N8 universities on topics including addressing cost, cultural and logistical barriers; sharing equipment; creating a simple, shared accessible asset register and effective business models for access and costing.
Key conclusions from the workshop included the fact that capital sharing and development and capital planning is now an imperative for UK research in order to drive efficiency and research excellence and collaboration and that success factors for capital planning are:
- Research councils/N8 share strategic vision
- Focus on opportunities for scientific excellence
- Engage with funding councils
- Consider the national context and engage nationally
- Asset collaboration