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EMPIR project supports digital transformation in industry for COVID-19 recovery

Automatic Test Equipment for MEMS inertial sensors, providing physical device stimulation and electrical test instrumentation (Photo: Courtesy of SPEA)

Project helps accelerate quality infrastructure that supports digital transformation

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken by governments and businesses worldwide are further accelerating the digital transformation in industry and society. These measures include the increase of budgets for digital transformation projects, more funding opportunities for R+D projects in digitalization, virtual meetings and digitalisation of processes.

However, the pace with which the quality infrastructure is evolving, including metrology as one of its core elements, is not happening at the same speed. This has been acknowledged by National Metrology Institutes (NMI) and Designated Institutes (DI), and as a result many have started new developments and projects to address this issue. These include EMPIR SmartCom; EMPIR Met4FoF;  EURAMET TC-IM 1448, 1449 and WG M4D; OIML legal metrology focus; CIPM Digital SI Expert Group.

EMPIR project Metrology for the Factory of the Future (17IND12, Met4FoF) is one of these. It is working to foster the digital transformation in industry based on the metrology principals of traceability, reliability and reproducibility. Outcomes from this project include:

  •  novel calibration possibilities for digital sensors;
  • flexible and versatile software for data science taking data quality into account;
  • the extension of established approaches in metrology to data-driven modelling and measurement uncertainty.

Data analysis for the COVID-19 pandemic has shown greatly the need for high-quality data, data-driven modelling and reproducibility of measurements. Data quality in sensor networks starts with calibrated sensors, reliable modelling and the communication and utilisation of data quality measures (such as measurement uncertainty) in the whole data lifecycle. This project addresses these aspects for industrial sensor networks. In addition, most of the resulting methods and approaches are applicable to other settings in a very similar way.

Project Coordinator Sascha Eichstädt from PTB said

This EMPIR project research will help NMI and DI facilities to become digital ready and enable European factories of the future to be competitive with their global counterparts. This will be essential in the COVID-19 recovery for industry, economy and society. Therefore, this project lays the foundation on which a reliable digital transformation of European industries with trust and confidence in data can be based.’


This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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