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European Metrology Institutes Join Together

National Metrology Institutes merge to form the association "EURAMET e.V." Day of foundation: 11 January 2007


Metrology, the science of measurement, has a financial weight in Europe of 400 million euros. Precisely this sum, added up together, is spent annually for research and development by the National Metrology Institutes (NMI), including the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). These institutes are now moving closer together within the field of research: On 11 January 2007, the first 26 institutes signed the memorandum of association of "EURAMET e.V." in a ceremonious act in Berlin. An essential goal of this association will be to develop a joint European Metrological Research Programme. Currently, intensive negotiations are being conducted with the European Commission with regard to substantial research funding.

A current study on the future development of metrology in Europe has shown that an intensified collaboration in research questions – which so far have been decided nationally – is of greatest importance. Therefore, the founding of EURAMET is an important step for European metrology. The association Euramet e.V., domiciled in Braunschweig, represents the further development of the already existing good collaboration of the European metrology institutes – now, however, as a legal entity with considerably extended tasks and goals. This organisation is intended to develop and coordinate a – so far unprecedented – European research programme of metrology – a programme which will then be implemented by the National Metrology Institutes. The individual competencies and resources of the institutes can thus be brought together – for the benefit of the scientific work and of all "customers of metrology". These "customers of metrology" stem from the field of science and, above all, from the fields of industry and society. The metrology institutes are assigned the central task of disseminating the units of the International System of Units (SI), of assuring the uniformity of metrology and of conducting research to the limits of what is measurable for the subsequent benefit of the customers. The National Metrology Institutes are currently negotiating with the European Commission regarding research funding within the framework of Article 169 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. EURAMET is thereby one of 4 named candidates whose projects are on the Commission's shortlist. A decision is expected in 2008. To bridge the waiting period until 2008, the Commission has already designated funds in its 7th Framework Programme to the amount of 21 million euros for the planned Metrology Research Programme.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Michael Kühne
Member of the Presidential Board
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Bundesallee 100
38116 Braunschweig
Tel.: 0531 / 592 3001
e-mail: michael.kuehne@ptb.de