FAQ

1. General
2. Sharing
3. Fee/payment/billing
4. Trust & safety

1. GENERAL

What does Clustermarket do?

Clustermarket is an online sharing platform for scientists to list, discover and book equipment and services. These resources can be offered to external counterparties and be shared internally to allow a simple integration in the lab manager‘s daily tasks.


Why use Clustermarket?

As a provider:

Renting out equipment or offering services via Clustermarket gives you an additional source of income, proof that your assets are used efficiently for grant applications and a platform to market your services. Additionally, you can collaborate with innovative companies. You can easily manage your contracts and you are guaranteed to receive the full payment for the agreed performance.

As a customer:

Clustermarket provides you with access to state of the art equipment and top-notch services, you can save time, maintenance and high capital expenses. As a start-up, Clustermarket helps you to bridge the valley of death, while established businesses have the opportunity to spend their R&D budget more efficiently.


How does it work?

For equipment:

Provider and customer need to register to offer and book equipment. After selecting the preferred kit, the customer must decide when and for how long access to the equipment is required (or select the number of samples). As the next step, the provider can preapprove the booking by the customer. A preapproval allows the customer to access the equipment after the provider’s terms & conditions have been accepted and the payment has been made.

For services:

Provider and customer need to register to offer and book services. After selecting the preferred service, the customer can request a quote from the provider. As the next step, the provider creates a quote by using the platform tools and shares it with the customer who in return can accept the provider’s terms & conditions and pay the agreed amount.


How does Clustermarket differ from a listing directory?

On Clustermarket you do not need to call multiple contacts in order to find out the price and availability of the equipment. You neither must worry about negotiating, receiving the payment on time or whether the counter-party is trustworthy. Everything can be checked and done on the platform in a fast and secure way.

Who is Clustermarket for? Can I also register as a private individual?

Clustermarket is for a broad range of institutions and companies in the science industry from small start-ups/spin-outs to big established institutions such as universities and big pharma. The more diverse the marketplace becomes the more synergies can be created.

Private individuals are not permitted to register on Clustermarket. However, you can talk to your employer or research institution whether it is possible to set up an account or contact us directly at info@clustermarket.com.


What are the costs of joining Clustermarket?

Registering on Clustermarket is completely for free. There are also no fees for offering or requesting equipment and services.


Why and when do I need to register sub-accounts?

If you own a small company or institution, you most likely do not need any sub-accounts. Sub-accounts are useful for big institutions or companies with multiple departments that share among each other and with external counter-parties. In that case, the main account acts like an administrative entity that monitors the sub-accounts’ sharing activities and maintains contracts.


Why haven’t I received any emails?

Sometimes the automated emails can end up in your spam folder, therefore please check your spam folder first. If you cannot find them there either, please send an email at info@clustermarket.com to make sure that you will receive them in future.


I forgot my password, how can I reset it?

Below the login credentials, you can click on “Did you forget your password?” The link will guide you through the process of resetting your password. As an alternative, you can contact info@clustermarket.com.


2. SHARING

Can I share technology that is fully or partially financed by public money or other external sources?

Principally any technology can be shared on Clustermarket; however, there might be potential conflicts of interest and it is recommended to check with the responsible funding source and its policies. While this seems less of an issue in the United Kingdom, the situation in other countries can be more complex and requires the permission of a third party. Clustermarket is currently doing its best to find political and legal solutions to make sharing possible for all technologies regardless of the funding source. If you have any further questions regarding this topic, please contact info@clustermarket.com.


I need to use specialised equipment, but I do not know how to operate it. What can I do?

This is a common challenge, hence providers often offer training and technical support along with their equipment. You can see what is offered in combination with the piece of equipment before you request it. As an alternative, you can also request a full service.


What is the dashboard?

Your dashboard gives you an overview of all your sharing activities and service agreements. Either across all departments as the main account or only for a single department as a sub-account. Besides notifications about preapprovals, requests and bookings, you will also find a calendar that displays any active bookings.


What do I find under “Manage Collaboration”?

Under “Manage Collaboration” you find the “Contract Management” tool, which allows the main account to upload any contracts that are required for renting out technology or offer services. You also have access to “Projects” where you can add any sharing activities to your research projects.


Does Clustermarket provide a rental agreement?

Although a standardised rental agreement is provided, some entities require customised agreements tailored to their needs. Therefore, providers can upload additional contracts under “Contract management” that must be accepted by the counter-party before they can make the payment.


What happens if an equipment has been damaged?

In the unlikely event an equipment is damaged or even broken after the sharing process, the equipment is often already covered for external usage by your current insurance provider. In case you are not covered and plan to share only occasionally, Clustermarket is in negotiations with multiple insurance companies to find an adequate solution for you. To get advice please contact info@clustermarket.com immediately.


What if the customer does not show up on time or at all?

It is the customer’s responsibility to make it to your facility on time. If the customer arrives late, the technology must remain booked for the rest of the agreed time frame. You will receive the full rental fee, whether the technology will be used for the full time or not.


What happens if the equipment is not the one I have requested or is not capable of performing as described on Clustermarket?

If you experience any difficulties in terms of performance or notice that the equipment does not match the description on Clustermarket, we ask you to immediately inform the team at info@clustermarket.com to get advice and the chance of a full or partial refund.


3. Fee/Payment/Billing

Who must pay the service fee and how much is it?

Clustermarket charges the customer a small service fee based on the overall transaction amount (excluding VAT), which is always disclosed in the invoice. The small fee is used for maintenance and further development of the platform, handling the payment process and general customer service.


When do I have to pay?

Once you receive a provider’s preapproval, you will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions and make a payment either via the secure payment gateway or bank transfer.


Why must the payment be handled by Clustermarket?

Clustermarket wants to make sure that the payment is secure and arrives on time without any delays due to possible administrative procedures. Please be aware that the payment must be transferred via Clustermarket, otherwise, neither the payment nor any potential refunds can be guaranteed.


What payment methods does Clustermarket accept?

Via the secure payment gateway, you will be able to pay by debit or credit card. Clustermarket also accepts payments via traditional bank transfer; please note that in this case, you will need to contact our customer service at info@clustermarket.com prior making a payment.


How does the payment process work, is it secure?

The customer pays Clustermarket the full price plus a small service fee in advance (if the renting period is longer than 30 days, you pay the rental price plus a small service fee for 30 days in advance). Clustermarket will hold on to the money until the end of the sharing process or the service has been completed. Afterwards, the money will be released to the provider. The provider is guaranteed to receive the payment on time and the customers can be certain about the performance of the technology or service.


I want to cancel my upcoming booking. Do I still have to pay as a customer?

Once you have paid, Clustermarket’s service fee is not refundable anymore. You might be eligible for a full or partial refund of the rental fee depending on the provider’s cancellation policy and time left until the start of your booking.


I want to cancel an upcoming booking as a provider. What will happen next?

If you have to cancel an upcoming booking, you will automatically receive a permanent review by Clustermarket stating that you have cancelled an upcoming booking. You have the right to comment on the review and explain the reason for the cancellation. For the cancelled booking time, you will not be able to receive any new bookings.


4. Trust & Saftey

Do you perform background checks?

Currently, Clustermarket must activate any account after a successful registration as a safety measure for the whole community. The activation procedure might include questions about previous collaborations and documents about the institution or business. In future, a more sophisticated registration process will be implemented, which will determine the eligibility of each new account to join Clustermarket.

How can I trust the institution/person that wants to use my assets?

Clustermarket uses a review and testimonial system that builds trust within the community. The platform participants must rate each other after each sharing activity.

How does Clustermarket ensure my privacy and security?

Clustermarket protects your information and is committed that all the information you submit remains private. Please check www.clustermarket.com/privacy and www.clustermarket.com/privacypolicy for further information.

Am I guaranteed IP protection and confidentiality when working with labs on Clustermarket?

By agreeing to Clustermarket’s general terms, users take a legal pledge to guarantee IP protection and confidentiality. For further information please check www.clustermarket.com/terms.