Selected Research Highlights

EURAMET’s European Metrology Research Programmes, EMRP and EMPIR, are supporting multidisciplinary research with targeted projects that address many of Europe’s grand challenges, such as food and energy security, health, and innovation for the future. Read some of our highlights below, or visit the links to find out more.

Designing new antibiotics

Diseases are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, limiting treatment options. Developing new antibiotics is costly and time consuming with no guarantee of success or commercial return on the investment. EMRP research established a new design tool that can cost-effectively link the molecular structure of a potential antibiotic to the desired therapeutic effect. This enables the prediction and monitoring of biological processes at the molecular and cellular level for a range of medical applications. The research has, in collaboration with the academic community, already generated a new antibiotic which can be delivered through the skin and has the potential for creating the next-generation of antibiotics.

Visit the Measurements for Health page >>

Improving air quality – reducing NO2 emissions

Improving air quality requires accurate measurements of pollutants at the low concentrations permitted by European regulation.

EMRP research developed preparation methods for calibration gases for SO2, NO and NO2 at or near the limit values of the regulation and a practical portable NO2 generator for cost effective calibration of air quality sensors in the field.

The NO2 generator has been used by the City of Zürich Health and Environment Department to calibrate its installed air quality sensors, enabling it to evaluate its pollution reduction strategy and maintain its lead in reducing city centre pollution.

Visit the Measurements for Environment page >>

Innovation in the ICT sector

The ongoing demand for faster, smaller electronics and communications technologies places challenging demands on the metrology infrastructure. Next-generation communication systems are dependent on signal processing electronics and testing equipment that can operate at ever-faster speeds. EMRP research has developed the metrology capabilities to enable the validation of ultrafast electronics in the GHz range and ensure appropriate test equipment will be available to support future communications systems. EMRP research is also ensuring that the functionality and performance of electromagnetic materials can be accurately assessed across the wide range of processing and communications frequencies, from radio frequencies (kHz) through to microwave frequencies (GHz).

Visit the Measurements for Industry page >>

Gathering evidence on nano-particle safety

Nanoparticles have great potential as future drug delivery methods due to the ease with which they can travel around inside our bodies. Understanding how they stick together in blood or travel across cell membranes once inside the body is key to determining their safety. EMRP research validated existing laboratory techniques using well characterised nanoparticles in biological media, as a first step towards a reliable measurement infrastructure for research into nanoparticle toxicity. Research highlighted the benefits of a two stage approach based on initial size segregation before analysis for accurately detecting the ‘rare’ particles in samples. This is important for risk assessments and toxicity studies.

Visit the Measurements for New Technologies page >>

Metrology for smart electrical grids

Upgrades to the existing electricity generation and transmission infrastructure are required to ensure a reliable electricity supply and contribute to European goals for carbon reductions. Increasing levels of electricity generated from renewables such as solar and wind also need to be incorporated into Europe's electricity grids. This brings the dual challenge of managing intermittent electricity inputs and geographical remoteness. One solution is the development of 'smart grids' that can accommodate variable and intermittent incoming power. Smart Grids are the mechanisms needed to reliably utilise large amounts of renewable energy; they balance variable renewable supply with changing demand to achieve grid stability and to prevent power quality degradation and power blackouts. EMRP research has made significant advances in creating a metrology infrastructure for monitoring the stability and quality of supply from smart electrical grids, working closely with utility companies and instrumentation manufacturers.

Visit the Measurements for Energy page >>