Northwestern University: Professor Chad A. Mirkin at Northwestern's Chemistry department leads a research group with about 50 members, including postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate interns. These group members share many instruments and resources purchased by the group as a whole, including chemical hoods, wet benches, two AFMs, a few microscopes, etc. To ensure fair sharing of the communally valuable instrument time, and to avoid scheduling conflicts, the group decided to use the FOM scheduler. Within a few weeks of use, Prof. Mirkin was very satisfied with the rich set of features FOM offers, including the many niche and specialized scheduling options and settings. He recommended it to other research groups at Northwestern, and they also started adopting FOM into their workflows, and consequentially FOM spread rapidly. Two years later, FOM Networks, Inc. was incorporated, in response to other institutions outside Northwestern, including Southern Mississippi and Boston College, that wanted to use this system too. After a quick website and pricing model (which was the same as it is currently) were formulated, Northwestern University was retroactively granted an Enterprise license that many groups within are still using today.
Yale West Campus: Professor Christopher Incarvito is the Director of Research Operations and Technology at Yale's West Campus, which was founded in 2007 on a 136-acre pharmaceutical campus purchased from Bayer. The west campus is organized into eight research institutes and core facilities to promote interdisciplinary collaborations. In 2016, the campus staff started a broad discussion to centralize and automate the management of these core facilities. Various solutions were proposed and reviewed, including iLab, Stratacore, FOM, and in-house programming. During the ensuing weeks of discussion, comparisons, and paperwork, Prof. Incarvito decided to purchase an FOM license, because it had such a low cost that it sufficed even if it were to just be an interim solution. FOM was thus deployed in his facility, the Materials Characterization Core, and then quickly became popular and expanded to other cores when they requested it too. Even though FOM was officially considered only to be a cheap interim solution while an in-house system was being developed, it quickly turned out to be popular, and because FOM Networks provided a turnaround time for arbitrary customizations that rivaled both the cost and speed of their in-house programming, it instead became the standard for YWC's cores. Now, even some shared facilities at the Main Campus have started looking into using FOM.
Nanyang Technological University: Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore, is ranked the 11th top university in the world. NTU selected FOM to manage all the shared facilities in the university, including its 58 schools and more than 100 shared core laboratories. FOM provided a unified platform for the entire university, so that any student, staff, and faculty can just log into FOM with their university credentials and immediately see the calendars and availability of all the shared resources across the whole university. The flexible, intuitive, and customizable modules of FOM streamlined their administrative processes for management, billing, and reporting across all laboratories.
KY Multiscale: KY Multiscale Manufacturing and Nanointegration Node (KY) is one of the 16 nationally recognized sites in the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI). It includes eight core facilities, housed at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, equipped with an extensive range of state-of-the-art systems that support technologies like additive manufacturing, 3D printing, micro/nano fabrication, imaging, and metrology. By working closely with FOM, KY Multiscale was able to leverage our unique customizability to manage all these shared resources under one system, which spans all the locations in both universities. Researchers located at either university, as well as other NNCI member sits, and even from authorized external industrial companies, can all log onto the single unified FOM web portal to browse the instruments and technologies offered, check availability, and book time remotely, all before even stepping foot in the physical facility.
As a member of NNCI, KY is required to frequently submit statistical reports to the NSF about its users and facility activity. As a part of the customizations, customized reports were created that comply exactly with the guidelines and requirements set by the NSF. So, at end of each quarter, automated reports downloaded from FOM can be verified and then directly submitted to the NSF, which saves many hours of work each quarter.