National Physical Laboratory

CEO of NPL speaks on importance of international collaboration during MoU re-signing in China

Dr Peter Thompson, CEO at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), delivered a speech on the importance of international collaboration in addressing global pollution during a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Addendum, with the National Institute of Metrology (NIM), China.

This MoU Addendum focuses on Environmental Metrology and strengthens the collaboration between NPL and NIM in this area. Simultaneously, a contract for the supply of the NPL Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) system to NIM was signed – the DIAL is a sophisticated remote sensing system that is able to measure and map emissions of atmospheric pollutants, in real time, and is housed in a completely self-contained mobile laboratory.

The MoU Addendum reflects the strategic plans in Environmental Metrology of both the UK and Chinese metrology institutes that, alongside the core missions of their respective governments, are working to reduce carbon emissions.

Both governments recognise the importance of clean growth, a topic which is highlighted as one of the Grand Challenges of the UK's Industrial Strategy. The UK government is committed to encouraging all nations towards this, and play a leading role in the innovations and technologies that will bring it about – as outlined in their Clean Air Strategy. China published its own plan for tackling air pollution in 2018, to continue from the significant reductions made under its previous plan.

The signing ceremony, which took place in Beijing at NIM's Changping campus, was also attended by Alasdair Hamilton, First Secretary for UK Science and Innovation in China.

CEO of NPL speaks on importance of international collaboration during MoU re-signing in China

Dr Peter Thompson, CEO at NPL, said:

"Today's signing is a testament to the strength of our collaborative partnership with China and the importance of international relationships in supporting and improving our environment. The signing of this extended Memorandum of Understanding and contract reflects that we have identified new ways to work together, sharing our expertise, research and strategic thinking in a project that will accelerate delivery for both NPL's and NIM's respective environmental missions.

"We look forward to working together with NIM on environmental metrology to bring about a future where people will breathe more easily and have the potential for longer and healthier lives – this is genuinely the impact of metrology."

Mr Fang Xiang, Director of NIM, said:

"Since NIM and NPL entered the first Memorandum of Understanding in 2010, the past nine years have witnessed the great collaborative results already achieved between both sides in many areas, especially in antenna metrology and environmental metrology. I strongly believe that the signing of the MoU Addendum will further strengthen the exchanges on how to be internationally leading in thinking, how to enhance the role of metrology against the context of artificial intelligence and, ultimately, bring about mutual benefits to each other in the future.

"Also, we sincerely wish that the DIAL project will embrace a smooth and successful implementation, and that its application will be widely promoted in China to greatly contribute to the settlement of air pollution."

Alasdair Hamilton, First Secretary and Head of Science & Innovation in China, said:

"Developing high value scientific relationships between the UK and China is a priority for both countries, as evidenced in the joint Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation which we signed in 2017. Safeguarding our environment is a global challenge, which this collaboration will help address and is an important focus of our strategy."

Find out more about NPL's work around DIAL and environmental emissions monitoring

Last Updated: 20 Jan 2019
Created: 17 Jan 2019

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