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Informing policy

Independent and impartial information

As the UK’s National Metrology Institute and a Public Sector Research Establishment (PSRE), NPL ensures that policy makers have access to our specialist expertise and can draw upon evidence generated through our science and engineering research to help inform policy across industry sectors We actively input and respond to Government plans, as well as carry out economic evaluation of our work and the impact on UK industry and society.

Engagement with policy makers 

The Government Relations team helps to connect people developing Government policy to the expertise at NPL. Government stakeholders are regularly invited to visit NPL to meet directly with our scientists and engineers and see our unique facilities. In 2022 we hosted over 40 visits, with policy teams from across Government including: BEIS, DfT, DCMS, Cabinet Office, DIT, Defra and MoD. We also had visits from Parliamentarians including BEIS Minister for Industry Lee Rowley, and local MP’s Sarah Olney MP for Richmond Park and Munira Wilson MP for Twickenham.

Consultations, inquiries and briefings

NPL submits written responses to consultations from Government departments, parliamentary inquiries from select committees and contributes to reviews and briefing from organisations like the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and Government Office for Science. Over the last couple of years, NPL submitted more than 20 responses to consultations and inquiries.

If you would like to visit NPL, hear about the latest developments in science or understand the data, please contact us.

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Excellent measurement science

NPL led the review of the UK's national measurement capability. It looked at the UK's measurement infrastructure and how measurement knowledge can enable scientific discovery, accelerate innovation and allow trade to be equitable. The the UK Measurement Strategy was published in December 2022.  

NPL policy positions

NPL uses its cutting-edge R&D and innovation expertise to contribute to Government policy. We provide technical solutions to policy needs and offer independent advice across industry sectors.

NPL statements

NPL’s experts contribute to many of the Government’s reviews. We consider and acknowledge the findings and recommendations of the published reports.

  • Government Science Capability Review
    NPL’s response to the capability review; comprehensive assessment of the role of science within the government, cumulating in 15 recommendations designed to enhance the application of scientific solutions in policy making across Whitehall.
  • R&D Roadmap (July 2020)
    NPL’s response to the UK Government’s Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap to discuss with the science, research and innovation community how we can cement the UK as a world leading science super-power.

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Briefings

NPL contributes to briefings and notes created by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, which supplies trusted and impartial analysis to the UK Parliament.

  • Interpretable Machine Learning (October 2020)
    This POSTnote gives an overview of machine learning and its role in decision-making.
  • Edge Computing (September 2020)
    This POSTnote describes edge computing, the use of computing resources in close proximity to the place where data are processed within a network, and some of the opportunities and challenges associated with its use.
  • Cloud Computing (June 2020)
    This POSTnote describes the different types of cloud computing before outlining issues relating to security, regulation, energy use and barriers to the adoption of this technology.
  • Key EU Space Programmes (June 2020) 
    This POSTnote describes the EU operates space programmes which provide services such as navigation and weather forecasting to European citizens and the changes to future involvement at the end of the Brexit transition period.
  • Misuse of civilian drones (January 2020)
    This POSTnote looks at civilian drones and their applications, focusing on potential misuse and possible responses.
  • Limiting climate change to 1.5oC (February 2019)
    This POSTnote outlines key messages from the UN Special Report, and UK responses to preventing and adapting to climate change.
  • Advances in Cancer Treatment (April 2019)
    A POSTnote that gives an overview of recent advances in cancer treatment, the potential benefits and risks, and considers the opportunities and challenges to using new technologies in the NHS.
  • Biometrics Technologies (June 2018)
    This briefing focuses on how biometric technologies work, their applications, and the policy challenges raised by their use.
  • Environmental Earth Observation (November 2017)
    This POSTnote outlines some of the environmental uses and benefits of Earth observation data, challenges facing its effective use, and potential opportunities from advances in relevant technologies.
  • Quantum Technologies (April 2017)
    This POSTnote introduces recent advances, applications, and UK initiatives to support development of quantum technologies and commercialisation. It also reviews policy concerns such as privacy, access to new technologies and secure communications.

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Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070