Welcome to DCC2GO
Supporting the implementation of Digital Calibration Certificates in the European metrology community
Replacement of paper-based calibration certificates with their digital counterparts Digital Calibration Certificates (DCCs) is vital for the digital transformation of many European industrial and legal metrology sectors. However, not all members of the European metrology community have access to the knowledge and capabilities needed for the implementation of DCCs. This project will address this issue by supporting the implementation of DCCs within the European metrology community, through the coordinated production and sharing of training material. In particular this project will benefit smaller and emerging National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and Designated Institutes (DIs) referred to in this project as the SEND community. This capacity building is needed to support a harmonised level of basic DCC knowledge and capabilities throughout the European metrology community as well as to address the needs of the wide range of stakeholders with an interest in DCCs.
The drive towards digital business in Europe is a high priority initiative originating from the European Commission (,). The first and one of the highest priority steps for the metrology community is to replace paper-based calibration certificates with their digital counterparts, DCCs. Several DCC types (including machine readable DCCs) are currently under development within a few larger European metrology institutions (e.g. PTB and the Swiss NMI METAS). However, support for the digital transformation and implementation of DCCs is needed for NMIs and DIs outside of this small group and in particular for the SEND community. Currently there is a lack of information freely available to the rest of the general European metrology community on DCCs, and how to use them. In addition, there is a lack of training material tailored to the needs of the wide range of stakeholders with an interest in DCCs.
The urgent need for support for the implementation of DCCs in the European metrology community has been highlighted by key stakeholders and at events within the European metrology community: e.g.
- International Conference on Weights and Measures (CIPM) who’s “The international System of Units (SI) in FAIR digital data” workshop in 2021 had 600 international participants who indicated DCCs as a priority. Indeed, the work of an earlier project 17IND02 SmartCom led to the foundation of the CIPM Task Group on the ‘Digital-SI’ in October 2019.
- EURAMET Technical Committees (e.g. TC-T and TC-M) and the Technical Committee for Interdisciplinary Metrology’s (TC-IM) projects 1448 ‘Development of Digital Calibration Certificates’, TC-IM 1449 ‘Research data management and the European Open Science Cloud‘ and TC-IM working group ‘Metrology for Digital Transformation’ (WG M4D) (DCCs were on 3 EURAMET TC agendas in 2021 and DCC training material was ranked a number one priority);
- PTB’s International DCC workshop in 2020 had 900 participants, of which 17 % NMIs have started implementing DCCs and 65 % were planning to start;
- calibration laboratories, for example a survey by Aalto in 2021 of 273 participants, showed that 65 % had no information on DCCs, but that 20 % intended to start using DCCs in next two years.
Furthermore in 2022 the international metrology community intends to make the joint development of a ‘Digital-SI’ a key objective through their vote on a resolution for Digital Transformation based on the SI at the 27th General Conference on Weights and Measures. This means that the European metrology community will be looking to EURAMET to be the provider of the necessary training and guidance material for DCCs.
The overall goal of this project is to support the implementation of DCCs in the European metrology community with particular focus on the SEND community; whilst also addressing the needs of the wide range of stakeholders with an interest in DCCs. The project will do this via the production and dissemination of training material and practical guidance material on the use of DCCs, which will cover all DCC types available during the lifetime of the project (e.g. machine readable, Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based, PDF/A DCCs).
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To produce a DCC training compendium, that can be used by stakeholders with no prior knowledge of DCCs to gain basic knowledge on DCCs. The DCC training compendium will be suitable for a wide range of stakeholders with particular focus on the SEND community and should support a harmonised level of DCC knowledge within the European metrology community
- To produce a DCC starter kit for DCC implementation, containing step-by-step guidance for the creation, practical implementation and secure delivery of temperature and pressure DCC. The DCC starter kit should be focussed on the SEND community and will consider the large number of calibration certificate types issued and their wide range of applications. The applicability of the DCC starter kit will be ensured by validation by project partners.
The 2 main outputs from this project will be (1) a DCC training compendium, and (2) a DCC starter kit. When creating this training material and practical guidance the project will assume that stakeholders have no prior knowledge of DCCs so that it is as useful as possible for all stakeholders with an interest in DCCs.
- The DCC training compendium will include the current state-of-the-art of DCC development and usage. It will cover a range of information from the basic properties and advantages of DCCs for NMIs, DIs and stakeholders, to full technical specifications for metrology practitioners and technical support (e.g. IT information), to overview documents for senior management and other stakeholder organisations in the metrology community e.g. CIPM, International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML) etc. The DCC training compendium will also categorise DCCs currently in use or in development in terms of different types of functionality, application areas, as well as their benefits and requirements. This should then enable providers and users of calibrations to decide which types of DCCs are the most feasible and appropriate for specific use-cases.
- The DCC starter kit will contain step-by-step guidance for the creation, practical implementation and secure delivery of temperature and pressure DCCs, The guidance will provide knowledge and experience on (i) IT tools for the creation and usage of DCCs, (ii) how cryptographic tools, in particular digital signatures can be securely used with DCCs to protect and validate content and (iii) will consider the large number of issued calibration certificate types and their wide range of applications.
Both of the project’s outputs will be targeted primarily for the SEND community, therefore, input from the SEND community will be vital for ensure they are as best suited as possible. The project partners IMBiH, DFM and Metrosert will play the role of the SEND community and provide feedback in the project. The DCC training compendium and DCC starter kit will be developed to support the SEND community in the implementation of a range of DCC types and for a range of metrological quantities.
Further to this the project’s outputs will be developed so they are freely available to stakeholders on open access platforms, such as the project website and open access repositories. The project will also design the content for EURAMET’s eLearning platform with the end target of the DCC training compendium and DCC starter kit being accepted and published by EURAMET so that they can eventually become the ‘go to’ sources of independent information on DCCs for the metrology community.
Early impact on user communities
The early outputs of the project i.e. it’s DCC training compendium and DCC starter kit will be targeted at the European metrology and SEND communities. Within the SEND community the project will support the development of capacity for digital transformation and will support the implementation of DCCs and their delivery to customers. In particular, the DCC training compendium should lead to a harmonised level of basic DCC knowledge across the wider European metrology community and the project’s DCC starter kit will provide validated step-by-step guidance for the practical implementation and secure delivery of temperature and pressure DCCs. This will enable the SEND community to gain sufficient knowledge of the infrastructure (e.g. IT requirements, software, investment) needed to deliver DCCs and to evaluate their capability to extend the DCCs from temperature and pressure (the two fields specifically addressed in this project) to other metrological areas relevant for their calibration stakeholders.
In addition to the DCC training compendium and DCC starter kit the project will also produce a recorded tutorial video (i.e. virtual training course) which includes a comprehensive overview of DCCs and the results from the project. This will also be made freely available to the metrology community via the project’s website and open access repositories in order to help to harmonise DCC knowledge across Europe.
Longer-term economic, social and environmental impacts
DCCs provide an essential first step towards digital transformation in the metrology community. Knowledge gained in creating DCCs can be used to start the long-term process of evolving internal procedures within NMIs and DIs and the extended metrology community towards digital ways of working.
The process of evolving current metrological procedures into digital ways of working will generate the need for new tools (e.g. software) to manage, deliver and analyse the output from DCC generation and in the longer-term new employment opportunities in the metrological and scientific communities.
The use of DCCs together with future digital ways of working will also support the transition towards more efficient science and industry. For example, the cessation of paper-based calibration certificates will lead to less waste and support more energy efficient solutions for the economy and the environment.