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Mit Metrologie in die Zukunft - Innovationszentrum für Systemische Metrologie

Innovation Center for Systems Metrology

Our vision

The Innovation Center for Systems Metrology is a pioneer of “Metrology 4.0” establishing a new metrological foundation in our (measurement) data-driven digitalized world. The center acts as an agile catalyst, working closely with industry as well as with standardization and regulatory bodies. It is helping to shorten innovation cycles in the fields of mobility, smart cities and personalized medicine and while doing so takes the quality label “Made in Germany” to the next level.




The funding of the first pilot project from the field of digital medicine, which will investigate agile certification for AI in medical devices, was recently funded by the European Commission. Within a large consortium from nine European countries under the name “Testing and Experimentation Facilities – Healthcare” (TEF-Health), the IZSM (together with the PTB and other partners) will examine...

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At the annual general assembly, the directors, coordinators and founding board members of the IZSM e. V. reported on the current status of the association and on the ongoing pilot projects for Digital Medicine, Mobility und Smart City. Building on these reports, further structural and strategic questions were discussed with the aim of firmly establishing the IZSM in the innovation ecosystem of...

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With its entry into the register of associations at the Local Court in Braunschweig, the IZSM e. V. became legally independent and took another important hurdle in effectively putting systems metrology into practice.

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In a phase of upheaval towards the end of the 19th century, the scientist Helmholtz collaborated with the entrepreneur Werner von Siemens to tread a completely new and visionary path by founding the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt (Imperial Physical Technical Institute – PTR) in 1887. The PTR was the world's first metrology institute, and it served in conjunction with the evolution of...

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The next step toward setting up an Innovation Center for Systems Metrology (IZSM) has been taken: On 8 June 2021, PTB’s Presidential Board along with nine other staff members founded the IZSM as a registered association (e. V.) and elected Prof. Dr. Tobias Schäffter, Dr. Anna Cypionka and Susanne Wiemann to be its founding directors. The new directors are now tasked with drawing up the...

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After many months of intense discussions, PTB has submitted a detailed concept to the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy) for the establishment of an Innovation Center for Systems Metrology (IZSM). With its proposal, PTB is responding to the urgent request from its Kuratorium (Advisory Board) to establish suitable structures for creating...

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Alternative driving technologies, increased interconnection and digitalization, and completely new mobility concepts will have a lasting effect on how we travel in the future. New technologies like automated driving will provide greater convenience and more social participation and inclusion. At the same time, they will save energy, reduce accidents and ultimately save lives.

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Medical engineering is an innovative and rapidly growing sector of the German export industry that is currently experiencing a revolution due to the digital transformation and an increased use of machine-learning processes.

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The city as a living space has experienced major changes in recent decades. The challenges in terms of climate protection, sustainable coexistence, interconnection and digital transformation are decisive for our future. In the city of the future, supply networks should be designed as a sustainable collective system in which AI helps to assure quality, identify saving potentials and take action in accordance with society’s wishes.

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Quality “Made in Germany”

More than a century has passed since the world found itself in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. At the time, German industry succeeded in laying the foundation for the quality label “Made in Germany”. This reputation for quality was primarily built on the science-based, innovative, and high-precision measurement technology developed in connection with the standardization of components. This combination served to ensure a consistently high level of quality. At the time, the industrial sector was also a key driver of the reformation of metrology in Germany.

The world's first metrology institute was founded in 1887 to act as the highest technical and scientific authority in the field of measurement: the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt (today called the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, PTB).

Building on this foundation, Germany has remained one of the world's innovation leaders to the present.

Using measurement data to build networks

Today, we once again find ourselves in the midst of a global revolution that is impacting all economic sectors and all aspects of everyday life. It is being driven by the interconnection and networking of products, people and processes as part of the digital transformation. The sum of the individual parts is creating something new, in a synergetic and disruptive manner. At the same time, innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter.

As in the past, measurement and testing technology again play a key role in these developments. All fields of innovation draw on large amounts of intricately linked (measurement) data: from smart energy networks to smart homes and cities; automated production and circular economies; personalized medicine based on artificial intelligence (AI), and pandemic combat strategies based on test data.

Rethinking metrology

Now as then, the innovation catalysts of measurement and testing are crucial and have to be advanced to a completely new, systems-level dimension. It is essential to understand and characterize complex measuring and sensing systems and to ensure trust, reliability and safety. The quality of interlinked (measurement) data and of reference and test data sets has to be ensured, as does our confidence in AI-based decisions. For these are the standards – defining benchmarks comparable to the prototype kilogram and the prototype meter – for the metrology of the future.

Shortening innovation cycles

Innovation cycles need to be significantly shortened if German and European industry are to emerge stronger from today's industrial revolution as well.

A multitude of stakeholders are involved in the development cycles of all disruptive fields, from the original innovation to its market launch and continuous post-market development. But the process of sequential quality assurance that moves from innovation to product development to standardization/regulation to approval and market launch is no longer feasible.

Ensuring that “Made in Germany” retains its meaning requires rethinking this process to make it networked and agile, with new structures and procedures that involve all relevant stakeholders at every stage. Data security and trust in the data and processes must be ensured throughout. All this combined with superior safety standards works to keep German and European industry competitive on the international market at all times.

Advancing systems metrology

The Innovation Center for Systems Metrology (IZSM) is working to establish completely new scientific and technical skills and expertise. Its flat hierarchy and its innovative, project-oriented organizational structure ensure that these skills can be put into practice quickly.

As a future-oriented hub for systems metrology and as an agile partner, the center collaborates closely with industry as well as with standardization, regulatory and approval bodies and market surveillance authorities. It maintains links with the scientific community and provides its expertise to policymakers. Through its preliminary research activities, the IZSM supports PTB in fulfilling its new mandates in the field of systems metrology, namely the realization, maintenance and dissemination of reference data and processes as well as the associated results. In this way, the IZSM and PTB, with their complementary organizational forms and missions, maximize their impact. The IZSM accelerates innovation cycles for digital and interlinked (measurement) data-based products in an agile, flexible and open manner, while PTB ensures that a reliable framework is in place.

The IZSM mission follows two main tracks:

  • Laying foundations: As a competence center for cross-application research and development, the IZSM creates the groundwork for the research field of systems metrology and, with that, promotes…
  • quality assurance for future technologies by supporting and advising industry in all stages of concrete development projects from research to market launch.