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Close collaboration in measurement science with a new sustainable structure
The vision of EURAMET and its members is to ensure Europe has a world-leading metrology capability, based on high-quality scientific research and an effective and inclusive infrastructure, that meets the rapidly advancing needs of end users. Establishing collaborative structures which go beyond joint research, the European Metrology Networks (EMNs), will be the next step in realising this aim.
At the 2018 EURAMET General Assembly six initiatives were selected to become the first set of European Metrology Networks: Mathematics and Statistics, Laboratory Medicine, Quantum Technologies, Smart Energy Grids, Energy Gases, and Climate and Ocean Observation.
These six EMNs are currently in the process of signing their Memoranda of Understanding and are getting ready to start their work.
Concept of the EMNs
There is a long tradition of cooperation in EURAMET, as highlighted by the strong role of the Technical Committees and the European Metrology Research Programmes, EMRP and EMPIR in European measurement science. Nevertheless, there has been a widely-held view within the NMI and DI community that there are still a number of underexploited opportunities for increased coordination.
The positive attitudes expressed in EURAMET's membership for further collaboration resulted in a workshop in 2017. Attended by senior executive management of NMIs and DIs, views, expectations and ambitions of member countries were collected, leading to a consensus of the creation of European Metrology Networks. These were regarded as a necessary tool to take on future challenges in measurement science and deliver added value for Europe.
The EMNs will cover fields relevant at the European level, but too wide for players to address individually.
The EMNs will analyse the European and global metrology needs and address these needs in a coordinated manner. EMN members will then formulate common metrology strategies including aspects such as research, infrastructure, knowledge transfer and services. The members will be committed to contributing to the EMN, helping to establish sustainable structures that are strategically planned from the outset.
By providing a single point of contact for information, underpinning regulation and standardisation, promoting best practice and establishing a comprehensive, longer-term infrastructure, the EMNs aim to create and disseminate knowledge, gain international leadership and recognition, and build collaboration across the measurement science community.
Types of networks
Three types of EMNs are under development: science, societal challenges, and infrastructure and services.
Science: EMNs with a focus on science strive for leadership and scientific excellence in challenging and competitive fields. Their aim will be to increase visibility and acceptance in the research community, and to reach critical mass and make use of synergies of the partners involved.
Societal challenges: The focus of these EMNs is on metrology that supports developments in response to societal challenges. To increase impact, the EMNs will provide a single point of contact for metrology questions in their field, establishing the relevant stakeholder network, and identifying the affected policy areas and mechanisms to contribute. Through research, knowledge transfer and services, the networks will also underpin regulation and standardisation.
Infrastructure and services: To raise the overall level of metrology capability and quality of service throughout Europe, a coordinated approach in the development of the metrology infrastructure is necessary. The focus of infrastructure EMNs is to facilitate complementary development, sharing of resources, avoid unnecessary duplication, establish joint facilities, and support knowledge transfer.
The EMNs are a fully integrated part of EURAMET, organised under its roof. Membership in an EMN is open to EURAMET members and associates. Partnership is open to stakeholder organisations.
Further EMNs within EURAMET
The establishment of an EMN must be approved by the EURAMET General Assembly. Proposals for further EMNs are currently under development and will be discussed at the General Assembly 2019.
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