Metrology research underpinning digital transformation at all levels

World Metrology Day 2022 - Metrology in the Digital Era


Our virtual incursion onto the European metrology realm continues with an overlook of the digital initiatives undertaken by the EURAMET community, within the frameworks of the European Metrology Research Programmes (EMRP and EMPIR) and the European Partnership on Metrology.


Autumn 2021 brought the completion of the first EMPIR joint research projects entirely focussing on digital transformation topics. Communication and validation of smart data in IoT-networks investigated the methodological and technical foundation for unambiguous, universal, safe and uniform communication of metrological data through IoT systems. Metrology for the factory of the future explored the metrological infrastructure required for quality assurance and traceability in modern industrial ecosystems.


Researchers from the two projects’ consortia, joined by experts from the Technical Committee for Interdisciplinary Metrology (TC-IM) working group on Digital Transformation (M4D) and the European Metrology Networks for Mathematics and Statistics and Advanced Manufacturing, have contributed to a series of virtual workshops hosted by EURAMET in September 2021. Together they have drawn a detailed landscape of the digital transformation state-of-the-art and perspectives for the benefit of European metrology users and providers.


These technical series were complemented by an open consultation event dedicated to exploring the possibilities for cooperation and synergistic interactions amongst different Partnerships aspiring to underpin the EU digital agenda. The participants identified digital-related needs in their respective areas of expertise - ranging from material science and nanotechnologies, intelligent systems and machine vision to biochemical engineering and data spaces - that could be addressed by the metrological research community.


Metrology Partnership fostering digital transformation of industry and society

A new chapter of the European measurement research & innovation journey began with the formal launch of the European Partnership on Metrology. Maguelonne Chambon, EURAMET Vice-Chairperson (EMPIR), outlined the essential steps having led to the official agreement about the Partnership implementation:

“The decision regarding the Metrology Partnership was published in December 2021 in the EU Official Journal. Several quick follow-up actions have culminated with the signature of the Financial Framework Partnership Agreement by the Commission and EURAMET on 31 March 2022. The Partnership Committee is bound to meet for the first time in June 2022."

Looking back at the journey of the digital pursuit within our community, Maguelonne further added: “Due to the sustained efforts and innovating initiatives steered by Miruna Dobre and the experts of the TC-IM working group M4D, amongst others, the digital transformation needs of metrology are being acknowledged and covered by the Metrology Partnership scope.”


Dagmar Auerbach, EURAMET Programme Manager, shared her impressions about the tipping point in the digital transformation of measurement science.

“Digital transformation is inevitable – therefore metrology needs to adapt as the next five years will be more disruptive than the last fifteen. This is not business as usual. A lot of the technology that came in three years ago doesn’t work anymore. We can't avoid it or delegate the digital transformation of metrology to anyone else. On the contrary, we have to own it, we have to engage, embrace and adopt new ways of working with the latest and emerging technologies and this is part of our Partnership.

Building on the early experience of the all-digital projects funded by EMPIR, the EMPIR Committee has seen to it that the topic is privileged within the new Metrology Partnership. The initial digital call has raised quite an interest, as evidenced by the twelve proposed research topics, out of which the four best ranked will become funded joint research projects. In this regard Maguelonne concluded: “Another dedicated call is planned for 2024, aiming to boost the digital transformation of the measurement science and technology. On the long term, this will enable a stronger integration of metrology in the industrial and societal sectors, hence ensuring the effective attainment of the objectives set forth by the Metrology Partnership."


Building global capabilities for digital transformation

Aiming to develop and disseminate an integrated, cost effective and internationally competitive measurement infrastructure for its members and associates, EURAMET deploys capacity building mechanisms and activities designed to help bridge the gap between emerging and well-developed National Metrology Institutes and Designated Institutes.

Examples of sustainable actions fostering a balanced and integrated European metrology system include the coverage of capacity building needs by the research & innovation programmes, as well as the designation of contacts for capacity building topics within numerous Technical Committees. Maria Luisa Rastello, EURAMET Vice-Chairperson (GA) and guardian of the Working Group for Capacity Building, promotes one of the latest projects supported by the international metrology community: the BIPM e-learning platform. This web training tool was developed by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and was recently expanded to allow Regional Metrology Organisations (RMOs) to publish their training material on the site, complementing each others' material.

Particularly boosted by the pandemic context, the platform already hosts multiple metrology-related materials created by the RMOs, their members and associates, and the BIPM.

“The joint initiative with BIPM is a continuation of the fruitful collaboration and synergies in capacity building between our organisations, a framework within which several training courses have already been realised. This digitally innovative initiative guarantees the best outreach, including a worldwide promotion of EURAMET activities and enhanced liaisons with other RMOs."


International collaboration

Through critical thinking, sustained coordination and pooling of resources and expertise, the EURAMET community is deploying efforts towards the provision of smart metrological solutions for Europe’s digital challenges. These activities are also aligned with the endorsement of several distinguished organisations of the international scientific and quality infrastructures to promote and accelerate the implementation of the Digital SI framework, as part of a wider digital transformation programme.

Just recently, the BIPM, OIML, IMEKO, ISO, ISC and CODATA have signed a Joint Statement of Intent urging broad acknowledgement and support from key international stakeholders to augment the impact of digital transformation on the global metrological system.

The next episode of the digital saga will shine a light on the contribution of the European Metrology Networks   to the anticipation of stakeholder digital needs and development of an internationally competitive measurement infrastructure.


For an extended overview of the digital transformation initiatives within the EURAMET community, please visit our World Metrology Day 2022 website >>


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