Remote NMR (R-NMR)


Remote NMR (R-NMR) is 3 years project by 26 European NMR groups/entities that aims to design and deliver a platform for remote access capabilities to Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) Research infrastructures (RIs).

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), the Consortium wish to establish remote access for all NMR users throughout Europe. While ordinary NMR applications are routine in every university and in industry, more specialized applications are performed in dedicated RIs 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. This project aims to establish an inclusive network of NMR-infrastructures throughout Europe, to survey if and how remote access can be made possible according to the needs of the community, and to implement GDPR at facilities and sample shipment procedures. Routines for remote NMR-usage will be also established, including dissemination of research and teaching protocols, archiving of data, and sample shipment. The overall CO2 footprint of the operation of the consortium will be evaluated, as well as its reduction due to the reduction of travels.

Additionally, to achieve a sustainable long-term remote usage of NMR infrastructures the consortium will attempt to provide the users the possibility to perform measurements remotely, with an experience that is comparable with the on-site access.
In the light of the above, R-NMR [plans to carry out the following major activities:
1. Harmonization of remote access and measurement procedures
2. Definition of standard experimental and data archiving/sharing approaches to align the performance of all centers and enable remote measurement by non-experts
3. Training on remote measurements and remote data analysis

The implementation of the project is based on the synergy and effective coordination of five work packages

WP1. Project Management
WP2. Remote NMR Landscape
WP3. Defining a common procedure for remote access and measurement
WP4. Remote control of instrumentation
WP5. Dissemination, outreach and training

The Steering Board of R-NMR, composed by the coordinator (BMRZ), the co-coordinator (CIRMPP) and the WP leaders (UOXF, CNRS, DEBNMR & UPAT) will manage and oversee the execution of the project (WP1). The governance structure of the R-NMR consortium is depicted in Figure 5.

Figure : Governance structure of the R-NMR project