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Corporate information

Strategic partners

NPL's strategic partnership universities have been engaged by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as partners within NPL's operating model. The partnership enables us to work more closely with the academic community and is the basis of our Postgraduate Institute, which is creating the next generation of world-class measurement scientists. 

In January 2015, NPL became a government company, 100% owned by the BEIS. On 1 April 2015, a Partnering Agreement was concluded between BEIS, NPL, the University of Strathclyde and the University of Surrey. Under this arrangement, Government owns NPL's operating company with the expectation that Vice-Chancellors of the two universities sit on the NPL Board alongside BEIS. NPL retains its role, status and international influence as a world-leading National Measurement Institute meeting the UK's needs.


BEIS logo        


The partnership enables all parties to strengthen both the excellence of their science and their engagement with business. The Universities of Strathclyde and Surrey are leading international higher education institutions whose work has an impact on society and the global economy through pioneering research in priority sectors. They share an enterprising spirit and a strong track record of working with business and industry, achieved by removing barriers between scientific discoveries and commercial applications. Both are well-positioned to have a major positive impact on the future success and growth of NPL.

Working with universities to support business

The partnership means that the two universities and NPL collaborate to bring together their track record of working with business and industry and their complementary academic strengths. It builds on the strengths of the partners to allow NPL to make a step change in capability, influence and impact. These include:

  • Joint working in areas such as space, healthcare and industrial applications of metrology.
  • Developing a presence for NPL, in partnership with other organisations, across the UK through regional hubs; bringing expertise and services closer to user communities who can benefit.
  • Creating a vibrant research community at the Teddington site, including the Postgraduate Institute which trains up to 300 high-calibre PhD students, and provides a pipeline of skilled researchers.


"The partnership will help to boost NPL's and the partners' scientific excellence, will strengthen engagement with business, and will make more of the facilities and the site. An important focus will be to develop activity to support postgraduate research and training at Teddington and across the UK."

David Willets, Minister for Universities and Science at the launch in 2014

The Minister's Statement also outlined the government’s aims to:

  • bring greater expertise and intellectual flexibility to strengthen the Laboratory’s science
  • make better use of the existing facilities by strengthening the Laboratory’s links with its academic partners, through new and existing collaborations with academia and industry
  • encourage greater interaction with business, driven by closer integration of existing innovation infrastructure and commercial activity
  • make better use of the site at Teddington by granting partners access to our spare capacity

NPL's research

Excellent science is at the heart of NPL's activities – driving innovation, supporting industry and improving quality of life, both for the UK and internationally. We maintain a wide portfolio of internationally-visible research programmes that advance measurement science, underpin the SI system of measurement units and support cross-disciplinary technologies.

Find out about our research