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External Access to University Facilities Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University has a number of Facilities which contain state-of-the-art equipment for research activities. These Facilities are managed by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International and are available for use by internal and external groups. This includes the development of the client base of these Facilities through various marketing strategies. To meet user expectations and to strengthen research and commercial outputs, the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International has established an equipment management procedure to identify and maintain internal and external collaboration and opportunities to generate income. This initiative is primarily targeted at external parties; segmented into two main usage Sub-groups:

  1. academic, and
  2. commercial.

(2) This procedure provides information to assist employees in understanding the business processes involved in facilitating the use of University equipment by external parties. The procedure should be read in conjunction with the Asset Management Policy.

(3) The Research Services (Research Services) office will manage the process of equipment access. Equipment available for access may be located at any one or more of University's campuses and is maintained and operated by a Facility Manager, reporting to the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International.

(4) Fee-For-Service and Direct Equipment Access contracts are required between the University and:

  1. non-Western Sydney University researcher(s), and
  2. commercial businesses.

(5) This procedure does not cover any kind of equipment usage or equipment access by University internal researchers or as a result of collaborations where access has already been negotiated.

(6) Price and cost will be calculated by the respective Facility Manager in consultation with the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International and Research Services. It assumes recovery of both capital and operating costs. This calculation ensures that the University is not offering services to commercial partners at a price below cost. In order to be competitive, the final price quoted may take into account market factors and deviate from this template.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(7) For the purposes of this procedure:

  1. The University Centralised Research Facilities covered by this procedure includes instrumentation housed in the Mass Spectrometry Facility at the Campbelltown Campus, the Advanced Materials Characterisation Facility at the Parramatta Campus, the Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Facility at the Hawkesbury Campus, the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Facility at the Campbelltown Campus and the Genome Sequencer, Confocal Bio Imaging Facility and the Greenhouse Facility at Hawkesbury.
  2. Facility Manager: the person in charge of the management and operation of each Facility.
  3. Fee-For-Service: the University agrees to offer the client services by providing the equipment and/or operator. The client will pay a fee as described in the fee-for-service contract.
  4. Direct Access: the University grants the client limited permission to use and operate University-owned equipment for the purpose and period stated in a written contract. The Facility Manager will assess the user's skills and where determined by the Facility Manager, the user will undertake specialised training at their expense. There is a fee for operating the equipment (however it will be at a lower rate than if there was a University operator doing the work).
  5. Interpretation and Reports: Brief or detailed interpretation of the data or a full report may be included in the contract, this added service will be incorporated in to the charge.
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Section 3 - Policy Reference

(8) Refer to the Asset Management Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Handling Fee-For-Service and Direct Equipment Access Requests

(9) Refer to the:

  1. Asset Management Policy
  2. List of equipment available for external access

(10) The client will identify the equipment through the University web site and/or communication with University employees. Bookings can be made by either the Research Services office or the Facility Manager on behalf of the client. However a booking will not be confirmed until accepted by the Facility Manager (if Fee-for-Service, the operator will be nominated by the Facility Manager).

(11) The Facility Managers provide registration forms and negotiates contracts with suitable clients after the equipment operator has completed an assessment of the client's request for Direct Access and/or Fee-For-Service.

(12) The contract negotiations will include terms around Intellectual Property rights together with requirements for the acknowledgement of the Facility in any published work resulting from use of these Facilities.

(13) After completion of the work, the University will invoice the client. Upon payment, and unless otherwise agreed in writing during the negotiation process, the University will disperse a percentage of the income to the respective Facility through the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International, with Research Services retaining 5% to offset overheads. Pricing is based on an equipment pricing template and has been developed by the Finance Office. This template provides guidance on the minimum cost of hire of University equipment to external parties.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(14) For all enquiries please contact the Research Services office at