Remote NMR (R-NMR)

Moving NMR infrastructures to remote access capabilities

NMR, remote acces, sample shipment, CO2-monitoring, data archiving, remote teaching


Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) is one of the major analytical methods applied in all chemical, physical, biological, and medical sciences.

NMR’s leading role stems from its analytical power in terms of molecular resolution, quantification,
reproducibility, and broad application envelope. It requires sophisticated and expensive equipment, operated by scientists with diverse background ranging from service-oriented researchers to highly trained experts. The aggregated capital investment in European NMR facilities, operating at local, national, and European level, exceeds 500 Million Euro. The NMR community maintains excellent networking between sites and serves a broad community within the focal points of European research interests.

With the application Remote-NMR (R-NMR), we wish to establish remote access for all NMR users throughout Europe. While routine NMR applications are routine in every university and in industry, more specialized applications are performed in dedicated research infrastructures offering access and help to local and outside users.

During the pandemic, NMR infrastructures slowed down their operations to variable degrees, and particularly access by remote users dropped significantly, raising the need to establish standardized procedures for remote access to improve their resilience to adverse external factors. 


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a standard analytical method indispensable in Chemistry,
Biochemistry, Physics, Material sciences, Geology and Medicine.

It serves as the gold standard for the quality control of chemical compounds, (polymeric) materials, and biological molecules including proteins, DNA and RNA. NMR spectrometers are not only installed in all Universities throughout Europe but also in all chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Both in academia and in industries, access to NMR equipment is centrally organized in infrastructural units (infrastructures) due to the high costs of capital investments, the level of specialization needed to exploit all aspects in NMR and technical expertise required to maintain and improve the capabilities of NMR. These physical infrastructures differ widely in terms of their instrumentation and user base, but centralized walk-in access to these facilities is the common standard.

Overview of distribution of partners through Europe. Number of spectrometers and research areas are given according to the symbols, national consortia including several facilities are indicated by a * behind the number.

Figure summarizes the broad distribution of participating infrastructures throughout Europe, the available equipment and the communities that they serve. NMR measurements implement a plethora of different experimental schemes conducted on physical samples. These measurements generate a couple of Gigabyte raw data each, which need to be archived, made available, and analysed, using computational software and hardware.
The infrastructures in R-NMR share essentially the same technological platforms (NMR spectrometers) but cover a very wide range of research fields and application domains, and serve a wide range of different research communities. It is important to highlight that only sharing the same platform makes the development of common good practices and strategies feasible.

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