Towards future SI measurement standards

Reliable measurements are essential in all areas of modern life, from the global challenges of sustainable energy, delivering high quality healthcare and protecting the environment to the legal and regulatory framework that underpins international trade. All depend on traceability to the international system of units (SI) which must evolve to match the world’s increasing demands for greater measurement accuracy. This requires research, performed in National Measurement Institutes (NMI), to support the SI’s development and extension to cover new and existing measurement methods.

Europe is home to some of the World’s leading measurement Institutes and these play a key role in the international measurement system; defining, realising and disseminating the SI. NMI collaboration in Euramet programmes, EMRP and EMPIR, enables pooling of resources to extend and disseminate the SI to user communities. Projects in the EMRP Open Excellence theme on quantum technologies and EMPIR Fundamental themes are enabling focused measurement research for future-proofing the SI.

The first EMRP SI Broader scope theme conducted research to support the proposed redefinition of the SI units of temperature, mass, time and electric current – the kelvin, kilogram, second and ampere, and to improve the SI traceability of measurements important for industry and healthcare. Highlights are available here.


Project Number
Short Name
SIB01 InK Implementing the new kelvin Graham Machin (NPL)
SIB02 NEAT-FT Accurate time/frequency comparison and dissemination through optical telecommunication networks Harald Schnatz (PTB)
SIB03 kNOW Realisation of the awaited definition of the kilogram - resolving the discrepancies Giovanni Mana (INRIM)
SIB04 Ion Clock High-accuracy optical clocks with trapped ions Ekkehard Peik (PTB)
SIB05 NewKILO Developing a practical means of disseminating the new kilogram Stuart Davidson (NPL)
SIB06 BioQuaRT Biologically weighted quantities in radiotherapy Hans Rabus (PTB)
SIB07 Qu-Ampere Quantum ampere: Realisation of the new SI ampere Hansjörg Scherer (PTB)
SIB08 subnano Traceability of sub-nm length measurements Birk Andreas (PTB)
SIB09 ELEMENTS Primary standards for challenging elements Heinrich Kipphardt (BAM)
SIB10 NOTED Novel techniques for traceable temperature dissemination Dolores del Campo (CEM)
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SI Impact Report

The report outlines the key technical achievements and early impacts of the first group of projects completed under the EMRP SI Broader Scope theme and also projects from the Open Excellence theme. The report details the progress made towards developing the SI to meet the future measurements needs of industry and society.  

Download the report