What is it?
Universities have significant research facilities and specialist equipment available in a range of areas that can be made available to businesses. In many circumstances, this research equipment and specialist technology, maintained and used by experts in their area, is available to business for routine testing, analysis, and evaluation.
Business can access, for a price, equipment that it would not otherwise be able to afford or may not want to purchase or construct as it would be for a one-off use.
This can be a short or long-term relationship based on either a one-off use or regular hire for long-term testing for product development.
The cost of using the equipment and facilities of universities will vary according to what, when and for how long it is required. Its price will contain overheads and staff time to run the equipment.
For businesses utilizing university facilities and equipment can provide a cost-effective solution within a comparatively short timeframe. Often this can lead to further engagement between both parties as they become more aware of each other’s activities and expertise.
Suitable for which Businesses?
Businesses of all sizes may use University facilities/equipment. There are clear advantages for smaller businesses because they are often more resource constrained. Longer term and regular use agreements can be developed.
How do you engage?
To identify the equipment and facilities required, there is a UK research equipment “portal” that has been created for awareness and promoting collaboration. Although, not all universities are currently included in the database and should be contacted individually. In many instances, accessing facilities and equipment may require specific training or functions to be performed by qualified university technicians. University’s engagement offices can advise on equipment/facilities for hire/use.