Laboratory and Research relocation for Academics
28/11/2019 / Project management / posted by Catherine Byrom
When academic staff transfer to another university, it can be a complex process to relocate equipment and live research, whether it is a permanent move or a temporary secondment.
It is vital to ensure the careful packing of all instrumentation. This is essential in establishing that everything is set up correctly, to the required regulatory standards, at destination.
If the relocation is an international move this can be all the more difficult when considering customs clearance and the logistics of the actual transfer of assets. Even when a relocation happens within the same university to different buildings or campuses, the process still must be planned meticulously.
Key things to consider are: the movement of all data, instrumentation and equipment as well as assets, samples, chemicals, glassware and consumables. Also, are there any temperature controlled materials that need to remain at ambient temperature(15-25 degrees C), fridge temperature (2-8 degrees C) or frozen (-20/-80 degrees C) as well as any liquid nitrogen that may be being relocated. Will equipment need to be decommissioned and then later recommissioned at destination? Is the instrumentation currently under service contract? If so, with who?
To an academic (and indeed future generations!) the research being transferred is invaluable so it is imperative that it is kept as safe as possible and that the work is not disrupted by any relocation. This needs to be planned thoroughly to ensure their needs are met.
Any sensitive and confidential data must be kept completely secure at all stages of the relocation process and with a full chain of custody log along with the ability to track your assets and their whereabouts throughout the entire process. All whilst meeting GxP compliance standards, including Good Laboratory Practise (GLP), Good Manufacturing Practise (GMP) and Good Distribution Practise (GDP).
One of the challenges often faced is timescale/deadline. The move may be a dead cert, however, both the academic and the relocation venue may not have secured a firm date for relocation. For this reason, the earlier the planning takes place, the better. To ensure that essential pre-location operations, such as recommissioning, can have been completed well in advance, should the move happen quicker than first approximated.
As all academicians know – research and prep are vital parts of any successful formula. The devil, as ever, is in the detail, but most importantly the planning. Be early to involve a project manager and relocation team as this can prevent unforeseen challenges down the line and make for a successful relocation.