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Research Operations Office




The Research Councils expect there to be efficiencies in the use of equipment: Universities must now check if there is an opportunity to share equipment with internal departments and other institutions prior to submission of grant applications and provide a two-page business case for all items of equipment above the Official Journal of European Union (OJEU) threshold. The University has developed an Equipment Sharing Database to record all the shareable equipment in the University. In addition there are tools which can be used to administer the actual sharing, e.g. Stratocore PPMS and Booker.

Equipment Sharing Database

The Equipment Sharing Database provides access to over 50 Facilities and 3,000 individual items of Equipment within Cambridge for the use of university researchers and students alike. In addition, it contains information on 225 Facilities across Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Imperial, Southampton, and King's College London.

If you are a current member of Staff, a PhD, MRes, or MPhil research student, you will have access to the Equipment Sharing Database via your Raven log-in. This can be useful if you are searching for particular or specific equipment to work with, or if you need to find replacement equipment in a hurry:

If you require training, further assistance, or have any queries about the Equipment Database, please contact the Equipment Sharing Project Manager 

Stratocore PPMS

A number of departments and research groups across the University use Stratocore PPMS to manage the booking of, and charging for, their shared equipment, each running their own instance of the software accessed via a web interface. It is a full-functioned cloud-based commercial system available at a pre-negotiated price with appropriate terms and conditions for purchases by University institutions. There is also a self hosted version if preferred.

As well as providing booking and charging for a facility, it has a wealth of other features, e.g. administering the use of related services and the availability of specialist staff to provide assistance. It is informally supported by the Research Operations Office and an active self-help user group, as well as by the manufacturer with whom they have a very good active relationship.

Access to each Stratocore PPMS instance is controlled by the individual site administrators many of whom will be listed as contacts in the Equipment Sharing Database. Alternatively the user group may be able to help. The user group can be contacted at Further details of the system can be obtained from 


The University’s room booking system, Booker, can in principle be used to book equipment particularly where this occupies an entire room. The functionality is much simpler than that for Stratocore PPMS, e.g. there is no support for charging or related services but, partly because of this, it is very simple to set up and the software is entirely centrally run. 

Anyone with a CRSid can book equipment at and this also provides a link to the page describing how to add rooms.