Long completed EURAMET projects still providing benefit to Europe

In the centre of the picture is a microscope with 4 lenses. Behind and out of site, sits a scientist with only gloved hands showing either side of the microscope
Close up of a microscope studying a sample in a laboratory

Between 2009 and 2013 EURAMET funded 119 research projects – many of which continue to benefit European citizens, businesses, and the environment

Under the  European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) 119 projects were launched with the aim of bringing European metrology institutes, industrial organisations and academia together to provide answers to pressing metrological problems in areas such as health, industry and the environment. 

Running from 2010 to 2017 some of the EMRP projects were developed further in later metrology research programmes – but the results from these early projects are still making an impact today.

Selected examples of continued impact

  • The project New primary standards and traceability for radiometry (NEWSTAR, SIB57, 2013-2016) developed a new type of photodiode containing ‘black silicon’. This new detector can capture 96-99% of the light falling on its surface – considered a breakthrough in light detection. It is set to have significant commercial potential in a wide range of cutting-edge industries and research applications, such as a candidate for a Predictable Quantum Efficiency Detector needed for improving experimental set-ups for realising the candela, the SI unit for light. The work of this project was built upon in the EMPIR project 18SIB10 chipS·CALe (2019-2022).
  • The industry focused project Large volume metrology in industry (LUMINAR, IND53, 2013-2016) developed a scanning interferometry system that was successfully used in the testing of an ion engine of an interplanetary probe that is currently on its way to the planet Mercury. The technology developed in the project was further evolved in the EMPIR projects 17IND03 LaVa (2018-2022) and 20IND02 DynaMITE (2021-2024) and is now being used in a range of European industries.
  • Ozone protects the surface of the Earth from harmful UV radiation.  In the mid-1970s it was discovered that ozone was being destroyed by chemicals released through human activities. EMRP project Traceability for atmospheric total column ozone (atmoz, ENV59, 2014 - 2017 ) developed an improved array spectroradiometer for detecting and measuring this important gas. The same instrument was later used in the Metrology Partnership project 21GRD02, BIOSPHERE (2022-2025), examining the effects of extra-terrestrial radiation on the ozone layer.
  • Another important chemical in the environment is ammonia which, once released into the atmosphere from sectors such as agriculture, has been linked to tens of thousands of premature deaths annually. The Metrology for ammonia in ambient air (ENV55, MetNH3, 2014-2017) project developed new facilities for testing the performance of ammonia sampling devices. This led to the development of a new type of ammonia detector capable of detecting this gas down to the 1 ppb level over a wide area.
  • Sub-micron particles released by cells have the potential to revolutionise disease diagnosis and treatment. However, measurement instruments for these tiny particles either lacked resolution or altered their function. The project Metrology for the characterisation of biomolecular interfaces for diagnostic devices (HLT04, Biosurf, 2012-2015) laid the foundation for a new type of device capable of giving valuable data on thousands of these, at the single particle level, within minutes. The information gained in the project has led to the development of an ISO technical report on nanoparticle shell thickness in the follow-on project 17SIP03 ESCoShell (2018-2021).
  • Radiotherapy has been used as a treatment for cancer for over a century.  Even though the technology has evolved considerably since then, clinical centres employing the same treatment on the same condition can use up to a 20 % different radiation dose. The project Biologically weighted quantities in radiotherapy (SIB06, BioQuaRT, 2012-2015) developed the foundation for a predictive model of DNA damage in response to radiation which can now simulate the effectiveness of radiotherapy at the nanometre scale. Able to model a wide range of radiation beam types, the results from different radiotherapy centres can more easily be compared - providing better treatment for patients.

These are only a few of the hundreds of examples of the benefit of metrological research that can be found on the EURAMET website.

The EURAMET Vice-Chairperson (Research) Maguelonne Chambon commented about the EMRP projects:

“Since the dawn of time, and as a result of growing human relations, measurement has always had to answer to emerging social and economic needs. The European Metrology Research Programme has responded to the major industrial and societal issues raised in the 2010s. With the development of new technologies, such as quantum technologies and nanomaterials, and the rapid growth of AI, as well as current and future challenges in health, monitoring climate change and the ecological transition, metrology has become a key discipline for making further advances and responding to these new issues. This is what the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research and the Metrology Partnership have proposed to prepare for the future”.

An overview summary of the impact generated by EURAMET’s Metrology Research Programmes can be found at EURAMET’s impact pages >>

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

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