World Metrology Day - 20 May 2022

This year marks the 147th anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention on 20 May 1875.


Every year on this date, the measurement community celebrates World Metrology Day. This year, the focus of the day is Metrology in the Digital Era - providing the opportunity for the measurement and science community to reflect on the way that digital transformation, among the world's most exciting trends, are revolutionising our lives.

Measurement science plays an integral role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing, international trade and in protecting the global environment. Reliable and accurate measurements are also essential for the provision of high-quality health services. Even today, the original objective of the Metre Convention, to achieve worldwide uniformity of measurement, remains just as important. That's why the global metrology community come together yearly to mark the occasion, to celebrate past achievements and create new and exciting opportunities that can better serve our stakeholders in the future.

Rapid advances of digital technologies today have a significant impact on communities across the world, and so it has become increasingly important to encourage the open and transparent exchange of information. As such, the requirements for data to be considered trustworthy are becoming more than stringent than ever before. In addition, to maximise the efficiency of information production and consumption in the digital world, all sources of information must be accessible by machines and humans alike. The vast amount of accessible and trustworthy data, generated by connected devices and objects, is a vital building block for new applications of artificial intelligence.

Digital transformation certainly creates new and inspiring opportunities for industry and wider society. But to make the most of the associated benefits, we must be able to trust data, data products and the results generated using artificial intelligence. Metrology is an essential element of the modern quality infrastructure that supports the digital transformation of Europe and the trustworthiness of digital products. Through stakeholder engagement, joint research initiatives, and collaboration within the European quality infrastructure, EURAMET is working towards its strategic objectives of ensuring the trustworthiness and quality of data in the digital world, while WELMEC is providing the legal metrology perspective to foster consumer protection and European-wide acceptance of digital transformation. 


A special joint message from the directors of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Bureau of Legal Metrology (BIML) has also been posted to expand on this year's theme. To see the full message & other information, please visit the World Metrology Day 2022 website >>

See EURAMET's official press release here >>

Metrology in the Digital Era - from different perspectives


Global collaboration for digital transformation


Metrology is a unique scientific field in that it affects and underpins a broad range of scientific and technological innovations. From efficient product design and manufacture, to the sustainable management of energy resources, reliable measurements are crucial. Similarly, the modern world's digital transformation will require significant metrological advancements - calling for a 'raise of game' in the field of measurement science.




Metrology research underpinning digital transformation at all levels


The formal launch of the European Partnership on Metrology has refocused European measurement science objectives towards the region's digital transformation. Across all levels, from project researchers, to experts from Technical Committees, to members of European Metrology Networks, EURAMET's efforts are helping to create effective solutions for Europe's digital challenges.



Metrology Networks bring in stakeholder needs related to digital transformation


In 2018, EURAMET began to create its European Metrology Networks - with the aim to establish a balanced, integrated and cost effective European measurement infrastructure. This year, on World Metrology Day 2022, the networks look back on their recent achievements and future prospects concering metrology for Europe's digital transformation. To hear from representatives of each of the networks, including the EMN for Climate and Ocean Observation, the EMN for Advanced Manufacturing, and more, see the full story.




EURAMET Technical Committees supporting digital transformation


As this year’s World Metrology Day focuses on ‘Metrology in the Digital Era’, we at EURAMET are taking the opportunity to review our progress in the digital transformation of European metrology. EURAMET’s Technical Committees (TCs) represent the backbone for the exchange of ideas and development of projects pertaining to measurement science - where one TC working group has narrowed its focus down to Metrology for Digital Transformation.



EURAMET activities

At EURAMET, our European Metrology Research Programmes (EMRP and EMPIR) have supported hundreds of measurement science research projects, as well as over 180 case studies that detail the positive impact that metrology research has had on all aspects of European life; from industry, energy and the environment, to the development of new standards or new technologies.

Europe's measurement science community maintains its efforts to pool together expertise from metrology institutes, academia and industry to develop accurate and reliable measurement standards and methods that can meet societal and healthcare needs. 

In addition to the themes listed above, several EURAMET projects are also focused specifically on digital metrology research. Building on the previous programmes, the recently launched European Partnership on Metrology will continue to play a pivotal role in leading the European region towards a new digital horizon. At present, European measurement science institutes are helping to develop new metrology technologies and concepts that support smart metering, artificial intelligence, machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) networks. Find out more by browsing the news stories and case studies below.



EMPIR project promotes ‘Digital-SI’ for measurement data


A recently completed EMPIR project, 'SmartCom' (17IND02) has made significant steps towards improving the communication and validation of smart data in Internet-of-Things (IoT) networks.

The project has developed a formal framework for the transmission of metrology data, promoted SI units for the digital communication of metrological data, and helped to form the CIPM Task Group 'Digital-SI' - which is working to further secure the harmonisation of SI units across digital applications. Last year, the project also held a workshop in association with EUROLAB, on metrology for digital transformation. 




New software and guide on digital sensors for the Factory of the Future


Throughout European industry, we are currently witnessing the development of 'Factories of the Future' - where information and communication are fully integrated with automation technology, like robotics and artificial intelligence. An EMPIR project, 'Met4FoF', has for the first time addressed metrological questions related to the data lifecycle in practical 'Factory of the Future' scenarios - something that will enable European factories to become even more compettitve with respect to their global counterparts. 



Results of EMPIR project receives international recognition


The 'Internet of Things' (IoT) refers to the increasing connectivity of electronic devices over the internet, such as smart fridges, security cameras, and even cars. Based on the data received by these devices, they have the potential to make decisions for you, like re-ordering milk or alerting your phone to an intruder in your household. However, IoT technologies are facing issues related to the ambiguity and incorrect interpretation of data.

EMPIR project 'SmartCom' has addressed these challenges by developing a digital communication protocol based on the SI units - the digital SI. This CODATA has also been translated into a machine-readable format that can be downloaded from PTB, and the project has additionally produced a guide on how to use digital SI units for safe, unambiguous digital transfer of metrological data.




Standards for Quantum Cryptography


Future confidence in Europe’s digital economy may be strongly influenced by confidence in the security of underlying digital infrastructures. Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a promising category of technologies that could provide long-term communications security but has, to date, only been commercialised by a limited number of suppliers serving niche, security-critical, markets. Wider acceptance is hampered by the absence of relevant security evaluation standards.

See full case study >>


Improved Nuclear Incident Data Analysis


First responders dealing with radioactive emergencies and National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) investigating radioactivity measurement data experience the same problem: the inability to spot and understand small discrepancies that undermine result accuracy. Digitised radiation detectors enable the recording of raw data, facilitating subsequent re-analysis utilising different settings or algorithms. However, the lack of data format standardisation hinders interoperability between hardware and software, reducing user uptake of digital technology.

See full case study >>


Combating Infections with Advanced DNA Sequencing


Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to patient care. Modern molecular methods such as whole genome sequencing (WGS) have the potential to identify the type of resistance present to help guide treatment plans. However, in order for these methods to be widely implemented more robust approaches are required.

See full case study >>

EMPIR projects are co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

EMRP joint research projects are part of EURAMET’s European Metrology Research Programme. The EMRP has been jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.

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European activities for World Metrology Day


On 20 May, the Bulgarian Institute of Metrology (BIM), the Union of Metrologists in Bulgaria, and the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Surveillance are organising a Scientific Practical Conference for 'Metrology in the Digital Era'.

The program includes topics such as measuring software, virtual tools in metrology and measuring instruments with built-in artificial intelligence. 

For more info, visit the BIM website >>

INRiM, Italy's National Metrology Institute, will be celebrating the day by showcasing its research in the framework of the digital era with a series of videos. The videos, which will be published on INRiM's social media channels (incl Youtube, Facebook, and LinkedIn), aim to illustrate the institute's research activities related to the theme of the digital era. 

From mid-May to mid-June 2022, it will also be possible to physically visit the institution's laboratories by booking a visit to the email address:

Visit INRiM's own webpage for more info >>

IPQ, the Portugese NMI, is hosting a webinar on 20 May, from 09:00 - 13:30. 

This year, this commemoration will be in person, and national representatives from several bodies will be presenting at the event. The presentations will cover Image Coding Solutions, the Quantum Technologies Revolution, and much more besides.

If you would like to find out more, please see IPQ's program for this event >>

The UK's measurement institute, NPL (the National Physical Laboratory), will be hosting an open day on 20 May 2022, from 12 noon to 7 pm (GMT). NPL's open day will allow visitors to meet the institute's scientists, engineers and experts who are undertaking world-leading research to help solve some of the key challenges faced by our society.

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about atomic clocks, driverless vehicles, medical ultrasound and renewable energy, as the NPL continues to support the UK's journey in digital innovation. 

To find out more and register for the open day, visit NPL's dedicated webpage >>

The Belgian National Metrology Institute, SMD, has organised an online workshop to take place on 20 May 2022.

The SMD aims to bring together representatives of the Belgian Quality Infrastructure, researchers and measurement laboratories to exchange ideas on 'digital certificates in the areas of metrological verficiation and calibration'. 

Register now to take part >>