Core Technologies provide access to specialized expertise, instrumentation, and knowledge. The common guiding principle behind these different types of facilities is that through the efforts of dedicated professional scientists, managers, and administrators, shared research platforms ensure more efficient resource utilization, as well as specialist instruction, support, and management. Thus, core technologies take many forms ranging from individual pieces of shared research equipment to large international infrastructures.
Core facilities serve the academic life science researchers seeking specialized expertise, service, and access to advanced instrumentation in many fields including proteomics, metabolomics, electron and light microscopy, high‐throughput screening, analysis or sample handling, and synthetic chemistry.
Although there are currently a variety of different models for core facility operation, in many cases, core facilities originated as laboratories that specialized in a set of techniques. As these techniques became more specialized and complex, dedicated groups were set up to provide expert technological services to other scientists.
The number, variety, and size of core facilities are all growing as life science research technologies continue to become more complex, and researchers increasingly require access to a wider range of core technologies. Large research institutions and universities, as well as pharmaceutical and biotech companies, are embracing the core facility concept as an efficient and cost-effective way to leverage research activities and ensure appropriate technical and operational oversight.