Clustermarket: the airbnb for lab equipment
Guest article by Ines Sequeira (Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine)
How many times you went around your department looking for a specific piece of equipment to use for just that one experiment? How many times you asked around your colleagues if they knew someone that had expertise on the new experiment you were trying to set up?
After the boom of “sharing economy”, in which people rent beds, cars, boats and other assets directly from each other, coordinated via the internet, for the first time we are able to book expertise, lab space and lab equipment outside our institution via an online platform: Clustermarket.
This platform was created in partnership with Merck Accelerator as the UK’s first online sharing platform for life scientists to list, discover and book resources within their institution or cluster. It gives scientists the opportunity to access latest technology in an easy and affordable way.
Clustermarket also allows institutions to rent out their technologies (equipment, software), infrastructures and services. You could list the equipment you have in the lab, making it accessible to other researchers. This can also be a nice source of income to help paying the service/maintenance fees of the equipment.
I believe that this new platform empowers researchers and institutions and it’s a great way to optimize resources. It is a win-to-win situation.