Shared Facilities

We believe that shared access to cutting-edge equipment and facilities can bring about discoveries that improve lives. We are investing in major flagship centres of excellence which put the Great West region on the map and catalyse collaboration between GW4 researchers and beyond.

Explore GW4 Shared Facilities Database


GW4 Isambard

GW4 Isambard, named after the renowned Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is the world’s first ARM-based production supercomputer. The GW4 Alliance, together with Cray Inc. and the Met Office, was awarded £3m by EPSRC to deliver a new Tier 2 high performance computing (HPC) service for UK-based scientists. Building on the success of Isambard, EPSRC awarded GW4 and our partners £4.1m to develop Isambard 2.

Find out more about GW4 Isambard.


VSimulators is a collaborative joint venture between GW4 Universities Bath and Exter, plus Leicester, to develop facilities for multi-disciplinary research in human factors engineering, supported by an EPSRC £4.8 million infrastructure grant. The project started life as a GW4 funded collaborative research community and aimed to change the way that all structures are designed and operated within the built environment. The community received GW4 funding and support to catalyse the project and scale up their research, which led to the EPSRC grant.

Find out more about VSimulators.

GW4 shared scanners

GW4 shares Pre-clinical In-vivo Functional Imaging for Translational Regenerative Medicine Platform, with a Multi-photon Microscope (zebra fish & rodent) based in Bristol’s Wolfson Bioimaging Facility, a Micro PET/CT scanner based in Cardiff’s PETIC facility and a 3T large animal MRI scanner based in Bristol’s Translational Biomedical Research Centre. These facilities are open to all GW4 researchers and were funded by a MRC grant of £2.27 million.

GW4 Facility for high resolution cryo-microscopy

The GW4 facility, which opened 1 September 2017, was supported by awards from Wellcome and BBSRC, as well as co-investment from the GW4 universities. It will provide researchers across the Great West region with a suite of state-of-the-art microscopy and analysis tools, enabling them to better understand the molecular processes responsible for cell function or malfunction.

Find out more about the GW4 Cryo-EM Facility.