National Physical Laboratory

The UK Measurement Strategy launched to support UK industry

The UK Measurement Strategy was launched by Lord Prior, Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on a visit to NPL North of England in Huddersfield, where he met companies who have benefited from measurement support from the UK's National Measurement System (NMS).

UK Measurement Strategy

Parliamentary under Secretary, Lord Prior said:

"The UK is a global leader in science and innovation which is why we've committed to placing the sector at the heart of our Industrial Strategy. We want to build on our existing strengths and get even better at commercialising British research, supporting the sector while creating high-skilled jobs up and down the country."

NPL led the development of the strategy with our national measurement laboratories partners*, taking into account the feedback of over 1000 users. The UK Measurement Strategy strongly supports the UK Industrial Strategy Green Paper, as highly accurate measurement will help the UK's future industrial success.

It will support the UK's regulatory environment; improve the UK's measurement skills that can increase productivity and provide the confidence to innovate or invest; and respond to the challenge of the data revolution through confidence in data provenance, storage, transmission and inter-operability that measurement can bring.

On the Strategy, Lord Prior said:

"The pioneering Measurement Strategy will revolutionise the way we live, capitalise on our expertise in setting measurement standards and provide opportunities to develop solutions to modern day challenges both in the UK and around the world."

Dr Peter Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at NPL, said:

"Improving the productivity of UK industry is essential in sustaining and improving our prosperity, and measurement plays a fundamental role in optimising and improving industrial processes. Whilst we currently have a world-leading NMS that supports our businesses, we cannot stand still. The rise of new markets, innovations in industrial processes, disruptive technologies, and societal challenges all drive the need for new or innovative measurement techniques and standards. The new UKMS ensures that we will continue to have an NMS with the skills, expertise and facilities to address such challenges and provide the confidence our industry needs to prosper."

Measurement matters. Every time you use your GPS, put petrol in your car, or receive a medical diagnosis, you are putting your trust in measurements. Measurement plays a vital role in responding to new challenges, supporting UK innovation, and helping the drive to increase UK productivity. The UK National Measurement System (NMS) consists of a core infrastructure of measurement laboratories and a wider community of service providers that ensure you can have confidence in the measurements you make or are made on your behalf. Our reliance on the NMS is often overlooked, but, like many of our infrastructures such as roads or water, it would be noticed if it did not work. The fact that it is invisible to many is indicative of its success, but our economy, our quality of life and often our very lives depend on the robust and reliable measurements it enables.

The strategy sets out major priorities to deliver impact:

  • To contribute to the UK's rich tradition of knowledge creation, we will continue to invest in a world-leading measurement infrastructure that will put the UK in the most advantageous position, both economically and to ensure quality of life for our citizens.
  • To enable wealth creation, we will ensure the appropriate measurement infrastructure to: support policy, standards and regulatory environment; get better connected to our end-users to deliver impact; lead the improvement of the UK's measurement skills that will support increased productivity and innovation; and respond to the challenge of data revolution through confidence in data provenance, storage, transmission and inter-operability that measurement can bring.

Through measurement and standardised protocols, we want to bring confidence to invest, to trade, to innovate, and to deliver national services in the UK that ensure our citizens are healthy and secure within a sustainable environment.

To deliver our vision we have identified five strategic themes:

  1. Ensure a national approach to measurement capabilities that drives effective investment in the UK measurement laboratories in partnership with the UK science base and business to deliver a world-leading measurement infrastructure.
  2. Champion measurement across government to ensure good policy, standards, and regulation.
  3. Work smarter and get better connected to end users to increase awareness, access, and uptake of best practice measurement.
  4. Improve the UK's measurement skills across all sectors of the UK to accelerate new technology uptake and fully exploit the benefits of a high tech economy.
  5. Bring together the diverse communities to understand the new capabilities in data science and develop a framework to deliver confidence in the intelligent and effective use of data based on measurement traceability and uncertainty analysis.

* The UK Measurement Strategy will be delivered by the UK national measurement laboratories:

  • NPL (National Physical Laboratory) – the UK's National Measurement Institute
  • LGC (formerly Laboratory of the Government Chemist) – designated for chemical and biometrology
  • NEL (National Engineering Laboratory) – designated for fluid flow metrology
  • BEIS – Regulatory Delivery – designated for legal metrology
  • NGML (National Gear Metrology Laboratory) – designated for gear metrology
  • NIBSC (National Institute for Biological Standards and Control) – designated for bioactivity metrology

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Last Updated: 10 Apr 2017
Created: 30 Mar 2017

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