June 2017

Thirty years of European metrology collaboration

EURAMET, the European Association of National Metrology Institutes, held its annual General Assembly in Madrid during May. This year’s event, hosted by CEM, the Spanish NMI, was rather special because 2017 marks 30 years since the original EUROMET organisation was founded and 10 years since it expanded its role and became EURAMET. There were numerous publications and speeches to mark the occasion and in particular an anniversary symposium at CEM’s laboratories in Tres Cantos just outside Madrid.

LGC was represented by Mike Sargent, Chief Chemical Metrologist, who is also a member of a small working group formed by the EURAMET Board of Directors to advise them on the role and conduct of designated institutes (DIs). This is an activity of direct interest to LGC as a DI working with the National Physical Laboratory to implement the UK’s national measurement infrastructure. In recent years interest in EURAMET has tended to focus on the joint research programmes co-funded by the European Commission. However, with 37 member institutes and many more associate members, the collaboration within EURAMET spans the whole continent and many other metrology activities.

The event provided an opportunity to visit the modern and impressive CEM metrology laboratories and also allowed time for a small group  to see the nearby INTA research centre. INTA is the Spanish DI for humidity measurements but of greater interest to most of the visitors, including Mike, was its role as the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology. The various INTA facilities offer world-leading research and development in aeronautics and space engineering but it was a surprise to find extensive laboratories investigating extra-terrestrial chemistry and biology.