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NPL and UKRI investment for innovation in time resilience, dissemination and application.
Funding of up to £4.7 million available through joint initiative, call for applications now open.

Supporting innovation in the UK

NPL enables new technology and helps companies thrive

From innovation to commercialisation

What is innovation? New processes, products or concepts can all be innovations – the key is making them practical, usable and
cost-effective. NPL offers the ability to independently measure performance – a critical part of the innovation process. Technology innovations often need more accurate measurement techniques to accelerate commercialisation and gain competitive advantage by being first to market. NPL plays a key role in establishing these early standard test methods which are used by innovators, investors and early adopters to validate new technology and provide confidence in their investment.

Technological innovation is important to NPL

The journey from innovation to commercialisation is not straightforward. Standards must be developed and reviewed in parallel to the development of technology to ensure standards support, rather than hinder, innovation. The National Measurement System (NMS) keeps the UK measurement infrastructure fit for purpose, which includes developing the test methods and standards for new and emerging technologies. NPL plays a leading role in the NMS, ensuring that the UK retains its world-leading position in measurement capability and infrastructure.

Measurement for Recovery

NPL and our National Measurement Laboratory partners helped UK companies to build back better by providing specialist expertise to solve businesses measurement challenges at no charge. We supported innovation by helping companies to bring new products and services to market and deliver the confidence required for investment.


UK Innovation Strategy

As the UK’s National Metrology Institute and a Public Sector Research Establishment (PSRE), NPL is keen to drive, support and enable innovation. From recovering from the societal and economic impacts of COVID-19 to ensuring our collective future as we tackle climate change, innovation is crucial.

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Excellent science is at the heart of NPL's activities. We push the boundaries of what is possible - driving innovation, supporting industry and improving quality of life. We maintain a wide portfolio of international research programmes that advance measurement science and support cross-disciplinary technologies.

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Commercialising technology

We are in the business of finding solutions to technical problems, so we are always happy to discuss the best ways of achieving this. Our priority is to ensure that the outputs from NPL research can reach their full potential by being adopted by UK industry and the wider world.

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Working in collaboration

NPL is active across the entire innovation landscape, supporting industry, government and research organisations to achieve their goals. We work with departments and agencies, including the Met Office, the Environment Agency, the NHS and the MOD, enabling them to make evidence-based decisions for the safe and effective delivery of public services and to develop innovative and accurate measurements and standards.  

For example, our research ranges from improving the accuracy of air quality emissions monitoring and developing new hydrogen technologies to designing new ways to map tumours in cancer. We are building the UK’s capabilities to test and verify products and services in new and emerging areas of technology such as quantum communications and 5G to underpin trade and increase UK productivity and growth.

Setting the standards

We work with stakeholders to create the right methods to measure the performance of innovative new products and processes, enhancing the investment being made by the UK in these emerging areas and ultimately securing the UK’s position as a science superpower.

Innovate UK helps businesses develop the new products, services and processes they need to grow. NPL collaborates with Innovate UK, BSI and other Public Sector Research Establishments to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. Standards, especially those produced cooperatively, are not only an important regulatory tool, but also reduce technological and market uncertainty and de-risk innovation. Such standards rely on establishing agreed test methods to independently assess performance and do not favour specific proprietary technologies. This leads to investment in companies, more jobs and better company survival rates, as well as the acceleration and adoption of cutting-edge technologies.

Case study

Supporting decarbonisation of the transport sector


Case study

Calibrating innovative XPS instruments to boost sales


Work with us

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