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EC proposal for a European Partnership on Metrology published

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“Measurement science is a key enabler of innovation. Our common vision is to foster Europe’s world-leading metrology, based on high-quality science, and a fit-for-purpose and inclusive infrastructure. Further development is crucial to meet the rapidly advancing needs of stakeholders and society”, emphasises Hans Arne Frøystein, EURAMET Chairperson. “This will be  underpinned by both the proposed European Partnership on Metrology and EURAMET’s new  Strategy 2030.” 

“I am delighted to see that the Commission’s proposal reflects our previous discussions and suggestions. The proposal not only builds on the progress achieved under the European Metrology  Research Programmes but also aims to break new ground by contributing to the development of self-sustaining, coordinated metrology infrastructures, with the capacity to continue research and innovation after 2030”, comments Duncan Jarvis, EURAMET General Secretary. 

Horizon Europe 

The European Commission’s ‘Horizon Europe’ puts forward an ambitious research and innovation programme, running from 2021 to 2027.  

A key implementation tool of Horizon Europe are European Partnerships, which are expected to  ‘contribute significantly to achieving the European Union’s political priorities’, accelerating the transition towards a green, climate-neutral and digital Europe, making European industry more resilient and competitive. 

Partnerships will bring together the European Union, Member States and/or the industry in order to deliver on global challenges and modernise industry through collaborative research and innovation initiatives.

The proposed European Partnership on Metrology 

The Partnership on Metrology aims to develop an effective, coordinated and self-sustaining measurement system for Europe by 2030. 

Reliable measurements are essential for innovation in economies and societies: metrology, the science of measurement, is vital for scientific research, trade and industry. New societal challenges and emerging technologies increase the need for accuracy, precision and novel measurement capabilities.  

As a building block for an industrialised and increasingly globalised and digital society, the proposal stresses the important role the metrological infrastructure will play in innovation and tackling some of Europe’s biggest challenges, from healthcare to climate change. 

Goals for the partnership include: 

  • The establishment of sustainable European Metrology Networks in highly competitive and emerging areas, able to compete with the top global performers. The networks will have a strong focus on stakeholders and their needs and a significant role in the development of the strategic research and innovation agenda of the partnership.
  • The funding of joint research projects that increase and accelerate innovation using metrology solutions, capabilities and infrastructure; resulting in European turnover from new or significantly improved products and services. 
  • Increasing and coordinating the role of metrology in the design and implementation of regulation and standardisation to foster evidence-based decision making and underpinning public policies. 
  • Engagement with stakeholders along the metrology value chain to maximise uptake of emerging technologies and contribution to addressing major societal challenges. 

The expected impact of the Partnership on Metrology is manifold, as its objectives would support a  wide range of European policies, commerce and public services. 

Background & next steps 

Following initial concepts for a range of Partnerships proposed by the Commission in 2019,  EURAMET prepared a draft proposal detailing a European Partnership on Metrology to accelerate the global lead of Europe in metrology research.  

At the same time, the Commission conducted a formal impact assessment and public consultation to identify the best option for advancing metrology research and innovation at the European level.  Member States were also asked to indicate their commitments to provide additional funding from the national budgets. 

As a result of these considerations, the EC has now published its proposal for a European  Partnership on Metrology.