MIC, an open core facility
MIC is organized as an open pay-per-service core facility open to all researchers in Norway. It prides itself with a high level of service and follow up.
MIC- High level of service and equal access for all researchers
MIC is an ideal type core facility that does both methods development, and on the basis of the former, provides services within a wide range of imaging modalities at a pay per service basis. The MIC staff sees its users as customers and the level of service is accordingly. The researchers at MIC do not themselves provide service, but their developments are combined by those of highly skilled technical staff into state of the art services both in terms of sample preparation, training on and use of equipment as well as a new bioimaging informatics effort offering safe storage/retrieval of data as well as tailoring of automatized analysis. These services are offered at equal terms for all researchers in Norway and there is no distinction between internal and external users. The high level of service has resulted in several instances where users from other faculties and universities have preferred to use paid services at MIC instead of the free services offered at their home institutions.
Service fees at MIC are low compared to the total costs occurring at MIC. In practical terms the user fees cover the running costs of the equipment, approx 1,5 mill NOK, while FUGE and the Department of Biomedicine covers personnel costs of approx 4,6 mill NOK.
Own and other researchers equipment
MICs both has its own as well as administers other researchers equipment. The former ranges from confocal-, electron-, and live cell microscopes to a small animal MR machine situated at the Vivariet animal facility with which MIC is cooperating closely. Of other researchers equipment, we administer a facility for Flowcytometry and one for Small Animal Imagning. The equipment owner, Institute of Medicien, is alleviated from all administrative tasks like ordering, booking and invoicing, transferred the yearly balance and thus either receives a bill or a money transfer by the end of the year. For Flowcytometry the income has been higher that the running costs and has been plowed back into new ecquipment acquisitions. The Small Animal Imaging unit has thus far been running in balance. In both cases the inclusion into MICs has been of great benefit to both the equipment owners as well as the researchers using the facility.