NeCTAR Virtual Labs have huge impact

The Characterisation Virtual Laboratory (CVL) is one of the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) supported Virtual Laboratories (VLs) covered by the new report "Estimating the value and impact of Nectar Virtual Laboratories" by the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University for NeCTAR. According to NeCTAR "the report has found that return on investment (ROI) is at least double the investment for every measure of each of the VLs studied, indicating the services have a significant economic and user impact" ( Read more about the report and the full report on the NeCTAR website.

CVL has worked with or is working with 26 facilities to integrate over 100 instruments with a total value of around $250 million.

CVL aims to integrate Australia’s imaging equipment with specialised High Performance Computing capabilities and with data collection nodes and provide scientists with a common environment for analysis and collaboration. It initially developed four research application (‘drivers’) in multi-modal or large-scale imaging in neuroscience, structural biology, atom probe and X-ray science, and through partnership, this has been extended to cytometry, neutron-beam imaging, light microscopy, and bioinformatics.

The mean amount that CVL users were willing to pay was $1,524 (median $900), while their mean willingness to accept was $14,130 (median $20,000). Using the mean value of $1,524 and the estimates of CVL users above, suggests that by December 2020 the contingent value of CVL would be $9.9 million or an average annual value of $1.2 million. Using the willingness to accept value this would be $91.6 million by December 2020, or $11.5 million annually.

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