May 2020

New National Measurement System customer survey results published

Today, the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC, alongside other members of the UK National Measurement System (NMS); NPL and NEL, announces the findings from the latest NMS customer survey.

The NMS is the nation’s technical infrastructure underpinning trade, industry and regulation. Supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered through six core measurement laboratories, the NMS plays a vital role in supporting innovation and growth in the UK and delivers services to underpin the certification of calibration.  

To ensure that the work that the NMS does on behalf of UK Government is as impactful as possible, the NMS labs undertake a process of detailed analysis and evaluation.

Every three years, NPL, NML at LGC and NEL commission a joint survey of their users, to assess the extent to which the public funding by BEIS is converted into economic or societal benefits.

The NMS labs work across the UK and reach multiple sectors. The NMS labs have worked with around 4,500 private sector customers, 3,105 of which used the NMS labs between 2014-2017. Private sector users represent the largest proportion of NMS lab users, with 54% of this group being SMEs.

Measurement is vital in supporting businesses, with around 80% of the NMS labs’ business customers making a change to their products or processes between 2014-2017. Each year, on average, around 370 UK-based businesses who use the NMS labs receive around £539 million in annualised revenue from sales of products that respondents believe would not exist without the support they received from the NMS labs.

6 in 10 (59%) of private companies, whose site had made an innovative change, believed that the support of an NMS lab had enabled their team to make improvements more quickly than would otherwise have been possible. The support of the NMS labs allows companies to innovate in a more‐timely manner by supporting technology advancements and R&D projects. These interventions provide support during the time crucial period of product creation, before it is launched on the market, thereby allowing these companies to enjoy the benefits of commercialisation more quickly.

The work of the NMS labs provides businesses with the confidence they need to undertake product and process innovations that would otherwise be excessively risky projects. 7 in 10 (70%) reported that the NMS labs helped their site to reduce the risks associated with innovation.

These business customers make an important contribution to the UK’s economy. Collectively, these businesses employ one million people in the UK and their sites have an aggregate turnover of around £188 billion.

Read the full report here.