Providing access to functioning advanced scientific equipment and developing central laboratories with sustainable economy.

Every country is dependent of scientific research for its development and scientific research is dependent on the availability of advanced scientific equipment.  Unfortunately, many scientific laboratories in non-OECD cannot provide the researchers with access to functioning advanced scientific equipment, due issues related to procurement, installation, service, maintenance, and use. Thus, the FAST (Functioning Advanced Scientific Equipment) programme addresses the access to advanced scientific equipment at scientific institutions in non-OECD countries.
 
The HR&S offers coaching in the management of advanced scientific equipment including; selection, laboratory  preparation, transportation, installation, training, quality assurance, accreditation, use, good laboratory practice, maintenance, repair, decommissioning, insurances,  institutional capacity, sustainable economy and outcome evaluation planning. The expected output from FAST is the establishment of Central laboratories that provide access to functioning advanced scientific equipment required to achieve the expected research output for the universities and are financially self- sustained.
 

FAST implementations

FAST in Nigeria: The objectives with FAST Nigeria to develop and maintain a national wide support programme for the procurement, installation, service, maintenance, use and accreditation of advanced scientific equipment. Such support programme shall offer service to all scientific institutions in the country. The expected outcome is financially self-sustained Central laboratories offering the equipment required for advanced scientific development of the country as well as Centres of Excellence providing the required analytical services to country stakeholders including the government and the private sector.
The Procurement, installation, service and maintenance of equipment SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (PSAN) was registered in Nigeria thereafter launched in Abuja 13th June, 2012 at the Bolton White Hotel, Abuja. PSAN has as objective to coordinating the FAST programme in Nigeria. The PSAN office was initially hosted by NIPRD in Abuja and May 2017 PSAN established its own office in Abuja. Since early 2017, private initiatives have invested new resources in PSAN, enabling a strengthening of the FAST programme in Nigeria. Stakeholders are coming together to establish concrete programmes designed and managed by PSAN in Nigeria in equal partnership with HR&S in Sweden.  A launching of the Nigeria FAST programme is planned to take place during 2018.

 

FAST in Rwanda: FAST visibility seminars were held at the University of Rwanda (UR) in 2016. An equipment audit of the two main laboratories of the University of Rwanda was made in collaboration the International Science Programme at Uppsala University (ISP). The audit was performed twice, in 2016 and in 2017 and the survey reviled that 75% of the advanced scientific equipment was non-functioning (Eriksson, 2017). HR&S was invited in 2017 to have a role in the strengthening of the UR laboratories and the laboratory management. The Ministry of Education in Kigali was informed in 2016 as well as the Rwanda Embassy in Sweden together with the Swedish Embassy in Kigali.

The HR&S, HR&S Country support team and the equipment supplier Chemetrix visited university of Kibongo (UNIK) early 2017 and discussed the FAST implementation. The output reviled that the limiting factor at the time of the visit was funding. It was concluded that HR&S FAST can provide useful coaching that will help UNIK acquire the right equipment and analytical solutions, thus increase institutional capacity and help generate income to the institution. Later in 2017 a meeting was held between UNIK representative and HR&S CEO, it was shared that UNIK experienced challenges and the FAST programme had to be postponed.
HR&S staff together with the HR&S Country support team visited the University of INES-Ruhengeri in Musanze early 2017 and share about the FAST programme. A four day follow-up visit was made by the HR&S CEO in August 2017.

FAST in Uganda: The HR&S FAST programme was introduced to a group of researcher and technicians at the Makerere University in Kampala Uganda in November 2016. A follow-up meeting addressing research management and ROPE was arranged in August 2017.

FAST in Togo: The University of Kara in northern Togo has expressed interest in the FAST programme and opportunities for implementation are explored.