The following example captures main idea of the Science Platform idea:
Kurt starts his PhD in biology and finds that he would like to do electrical resistance measurements on his newly grown cells. In his group he can’t find help and his advisor is reluctant to buy expensive equipment. Kurt is also unsure about his plan as he doesn’t even know which equipment to buy and how to do the measurement. It will take him month to build up the setup and learn how to use it. Now he is aware of the science platform and starts searching for resistance measurement equipment and experts. He finds that in the group of Hans from the Physics Department there are two Keithley High Resistance Meter not in use since a year and could be borrowed and Paul from the Electrical Engineering Department has written a program in C++ with a user friendly interface for this equipment. Paul also can give advice on how to do the setup for such measurements and what the major problems will be and how to avoid them. Within a month Kurt has made his first successful measurements, his investment was nearly zero while saving time.
Science Platform Working Group started its activities in January 2011 with the goal to implement a web based platform which will facilitate exchange of equipment, materials and know-how among ETH scientific staff. We will update this page with more details regaring the project development soon.