The creation of EURAMET
Back in 2002 and 2003 EURAMET's predecessor - EUROMET - conducted an EU-supported review on 'Metrology for the European Research Area' looking at options to improve cooperation among European National Metrology Institutes (NMIs). To address the challenges in metrology, a significant increase in metrological research was required. A coordinated effort of all NMIs would be necessary, financially supported through a European metrology research programme, later known as the EMRP.
To operate the EMRP and to receive and spend funds, EUROMET needed to become a legal entity. So, one of the key issues that were addressed in the project 'Implementing the Metrology for the European Research Area' (iMERA) was to change EUROMET into a legal entity and to develop the necessary structures and tools to execute a joint research programme. The conclusion was that an association of public utility under German law was suitable both to the operation of metrology research programmes and for the other purposes of EUROMET.
A key requirement was that the new organisation should be open to NMIs that wanted to participate in the joint research structures as well as those NMIs that choose not to do so. Another requirement was that all NMIs that were members of EUROMET could become members of the new organisation.
Finally, on 11 January 2007, almost 50 delegates, signatories, EMRP representatives and additional guests from liaison organisations and politics met at PTB in Berlin, Germany. This Thursday, ten years ago, was the day of EURAMET's inauguration.
By the unanimous adoption and signing of the byelaws by 26 signatories, EURAMET was founded. Directly following, the first elections took place. Michael Kühne (at that time PTB, Germany) was elected as EURAMET Chairperson, Arnold Leitner (at that time BEV, Austria) became Vice-Chairperson (GA) and Luc Erard (at that time LNE, France) was elected as Vice-Chairperson (EMRP). One day later, on 12 January 2007, the first EMRP Committee meeting was held.
"It was decided to name the new organisation EURAMET to have a clear distinction from the previous EUROMET but close enough for recognition as successor organisation," explained Michael Kühne, who was the last EUROMET and first EURAMET Chairperson. For a few months EURAMET and EUROMET existed in parallel to guarantee a smooth transition of tasks and knowledge to the new association.
The guiding principles of EURAMET were and are still, for example, the commitment to democratic principles, the General Assembly as the highest body for all decisions and that the Board of Directors should reflect the diversity of members in respect of geography, level of metrological development and metrological impact in Europe.
Starting with 26 founding members, EURAMET today has 37 members, 77 associates and, in addition to the successfully-implemented EMRP, the successor programme EMPIR, which has been running since 2014. The objective that all members of EUROMET join EURAMET was achieved shortly after the inauguration.
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