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26 September 2012 | PR 12/170

Loughborough University project shortlisted for THE Award.

Kit Catologue logo

 

The 2012 Times Higher Education awards short-lists, released two weeks ago, revealed some fantastic news for the team involved in the Kit-CatalogueTM project at Loughborough University.

The project has been short listed in the ‘Outstanding ICT initiative for the year’ category which is awarded to a project that has demonstrated ‘an innovative, strategic and potentially far-reaching use of ICT in support of the goals of that institution’.

Established in 2008, the project was initially called the ‘Equipment Database’ and was the brain child of Professor Rachel Thomson, the Director of the Materials Research School at the University. The Centre for Engineering and Design Education (CEDE) worked with Professor Thomson to develop the database system further in order to enhance research collaboration and to reduce duplication of equipment already purchased and maximise opportunities for the use and re-use of specialist equipment.

The online catalogue of laboratory equipment, workshop machines and specialist tools was developed to allow any member of staff or student to search for an item to borrow, book out or hire for teaching or research use. It can be found at http://equipment.lboro.ac.uk/ and now has over 1800 items catalogued from across the University.  A growing number of items are now viewable without the need to login.

In 2011 the project received an injection of funding from the JISC and now has on-going funding from the University.  This has enabled significant enhancements to be made to the underlying system, which was renamed Kit-Catalogue™, as well as an increase in cataloguing activity and variety of supporting advocacy and policy initiatives – such as automated links to procurement systems to ensure the catalogue is up to date.

The underlying  Kit- CatalogueTM code has also been made available as Open Source software for any institution or company to install and use and can be downloaded from the project website at http://kit-catalogue.lboro.ac.uk/project/.

Since its first release in November 2011, it has been downloaded around 1300 times from around the world.  The latest version received some 20 downloads on the first day of its release in September 2012.

Early adopters of the system include the University of Nottingham, Northumbria University and Bristol University. More recently, Leicester University, UCL and Staffordshire have begun to use the software.  There have also been talks with many other UK Universities and organisations as well as institutions in Latvia and the USA who are considering using it.

Melanie King, CEDE Manager, said ‘"The project team are extremely delighted to be short-listed for THE ICT Initiative of the Year.  It is has been very gratifying to work with so many dedicated and talented colleagues from within the Materials Research School, the Centre for Engineering and Design Education and IT Services.”

“Professor Rachel Thomson, Director of the Materials Research School, has a very clear and strong vision for the system and its potential for enhancing research capability and collaboration, as well as enhancements to the efficiency and effectiveness of Institutional processes.”

“All of our hard work has paid off and evidence of Kit-Catalogue's huge potential can be seen in the number of other Institutions starting to, not only to use it but to work with us on adding even greater functionality - making it even better!"

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London on 29 November 2012.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Bateson
Public Relations Office
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228658
E: H.R.Bateson@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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