National Physical Laboratory

2020 vision Metrology for the 2020s

A forward-looking vision of where our measurement knowledge and capabilities will take us in the future.

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2020 Vision Cover ThumbnailMetrology for the 2020s

Metrology for the 2020s was formed from discussions between NPL scientists, government partners, academic institutions and industry representatives.

Once the document was published, the conversation opened up to an even wider audience as individuals and organisations were invited to submit feedback via the NPL website (and are still welcome to do so).

This area will explore these comments and look at how NPL's mission is progressing to meet the challenges of the 2020s, as outlined in the publication.

Our vision of metrology

NPL's mission is to provide the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life. Our vision is that metrology will develop in the 2020s within a framework, defined by the four themes below:

2020 quantum icon

The new quantum SI

As a result of a new quantum SI, several of the base units of measurement will be significantly revised and redefined to remove the remaining physical artefacts and take advantage of advances in quantum metrology.



2020 frontiers icon

Measurement at the frontiers

Advances in science and technology push at the frontiers of what is possible for metrology. This drives the need for new capabilities to make measurements that are beyond the boundaries of today's capabilities.



2020 smart icon

Smart and interconnected measurement

Large-scale, multi-measurement systems will exploit the availability of networked information and make use of the 'internet of things', in which physical objects integrate seamlessly into the global information network.



2020s embedded iconEmbedded and ubiquitous measurement

Metrology capability will be embedded at the heart of products and systems in an example of technological convergence (the trend for technology-driven systems to evolve to perform similar tasks).


A beginner's guide

A comment was made that it would help if we also produced something for those new to metrology - the science of measurement.

Read Metrology for the 2020s - a beginner's guide


NPL would like to thank the following organisations for making comments:


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission