Research equipment is housed at the research groups or organisations who have the expertise to use and maintain the equipment. This distributed set-up of Sharing Research Facilities enables users to get in direct contact with expertise and new technological possibilities related to the research instruments and facilities. In this way, the latest research facilities are directly accessible. Sharing can stimulate and accelerate the development of new ideas and innovative technologies in a sustainable manner. Therefore, WUR developed the concept of Shared Research Facilities. The full capacity of research equipment and facilities is used, by researchers within and outside WUR and through collaborative projects. Also, it enables researchers to use state-of-the-art technologies without having to purchase the instrument themselves.
SRF has a database available that includes all research equipment that is open for sharing:
SEARCH (Wageningen University & Research - Search Research Equipment - Search (wur.nl)).
Within SEARCH, 205 devices can be used by third party organisations (external users). The equipment database SEARCH is managed by SRF. Via this database, SRF offers researchers from universities, research institutes and companies, including start-ups, the opportunity to find research equipment with their relevant expert and to use it, generally on a pay-per-use basis. The equipment in the database is divided into the following categories:
- Biochemistry - Physiology
- Mass Spectrometry
- Microscopy – Imaging
- Molecular Biology
- Other facilities