Research Projects

A*STAR Facilities Booking System (A*FBS) for Resources, Process Recipes, Training Course Modules Configuration and Booking.



In this project, the objective is to enhance the A*FBS system that is presently being used to share resources and maximise the utilisation of these resources (including high-end equipment) among A*STAR Research Institutes. 

The enhancements planned are:

  1. Process-based recipe creation and maintenance that include:

    • Catering for booking/unbooking of resources involved in a process recipe
    • Search for A*STAR Research Institutes (RIs) equipment through Resource Classes, Materials and Modules, and select appropriate RI equipment necessary for process recipe steps for booking
    • Provision of corresponding utilisation time in hours for the selected equipment and also the minimum as well as maximum time gap between two equipment utilization
  2. Training course modules creation and maintenance that include:

    • Course announcement module that provides notification for new course announcement, course timings to all staff through email service
    • Notify every individual with a link to fill up course form to participate in the training course
    • Maintain course attendance for every participant for all those courses conducted
    • Ensure that staff has the necessary training before granting booking rights to a sophisticated A*STAR RI equipment
    • Notify course coordinator that is HR/IS with an email
  3. Other enhancements that include:

    • Block booking/unbooking
    • Email notifications to relevant resource contact personnel
    • The inclusion of universities (NTU & NUS) to use and share resources


Contact PersonValliappan Ramasamy(rama@SIMTech.a-star.edu.sg)
Solution

A*FBSis a web-based and web service-enabled application software that seamlessly enables configuring, sharing, searching, checking availability, booking/cancelling, and effective utilisation of all A*STAR RIs' resources. It can be used for configuring any A*STAR RIs' resources for booking/cancellation, user access rights for those resources, process recipes for multiple resources booking/cancellation, and their respective training courses that any user has to attend for getting booking/cancellation rights to those resources. 

This A*FBS online booking system is used to facilitate sharing of high-end resources among A*STAR Research Institutes (RIs). It is proposed that SIMTech's VEI team help to implement the resource booking and tracking system to share resources and maximise the utilisation of these resources (inclusive of high-end equipment) using the Web Service Component Suite (WSCS). This inter-RI online system is a precursor to a more comprehensive platform in the future that will include industry clients.

BenefitsThe WSCS which provides the platform for the development of the A*FBS has three pending patents filed in USA and Singapore. A*FBS has also been awarded with the "Commendable Award" certificate at MTI ExCEL CONVENTION 2005, Singapore.
Patents / Awards / Achievements / DifferentiationThe WSCS which provides the platform for the development of the A*FBS has three pending patents filed in USA and Singapore. A*FBS has also been awarded with the "Commendable Award" certificate at MTI ExCEL CONVENTION 2005, Singapore.
Applications

The A*FBS is pertinent to any organisation that wishes to share and get access to their resources, process recipes and training courses management in a flexible and easy-to-use manner.

Problems Addressed

Typically, it is difficult to fully utilise high-value resources within a single RI in A*STAR. As such, there is high economic impetus to share such resources across all the RIs and eventually with the industry as well. For this to take place, one of the first hurdles is to create a system that enables easy sharing and efficient utilisation of high-value research equipment across the whole public research community. This system must also capture the utilisation rate of individual equipment (as justification for new purchases) as well as allow user authentication to reside with the respective organisations.