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NPL and UCL collaborate on major scientific and industrial challenges

UCL will become a key partner of NPL, the UK’s National Metrology Institute

The two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 9 March 2020, stating their commitment to collaborate further. This follows years of successful partnership. 

The collaboration will focus on areas of fundamental and applied research including:

  • energy materials and devices
  • environmental science
  • biological science / healthcare technologies
  • synthetic biology
  •  large dataset handling
  • quantum technology.

It will also support training and education of the next generation of scientists and engineers.

JT Janssen, Chief Scientist, NPL said: “NPL and UCL have a long history of working closely together and this MoU will formalise the   relationship and create the opportunity to enhance our interactions in mutually strategically important areas in research and training.”

NPL is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science and technology. From accelerating new antibiotics and more effective cancer treatments, to developing unhackable quantum communications and superfast 5G, NPL expertise is crucial in researching, developing and testing new products and processes.  

As one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities, UCL has collaborated extensively with NPL on high-impact projects. For example, UCL and NPL have been working to understand, and hopefully prevent, rare but potentially catastrophic explosions in lithium ion batteries.

Teams from the two institutions have also developed new molecular tools to help in the battle against antimicrobial resistance. This was inspired by careful analysis of the action of naturally occurring antimicrobial proteins in breast milk.

In addition, NPL and UCL jointly fund over 20 PhD projects at UCL, and NPL is an active participant in a number of UCL hosted centres for doctoral training (CDTs).

This initiative comes at a critical time in the development of new research directions for both organisations. The aim is to create new facilities and training programmes aligned across both institutions, which are ready and equipped to address national challenges. 

UCL’s Vice-Provost (Enterprise), Dr Celia Caulcott, said: “I’m particularly excited about the potential of this strengthened partnership. The two institutions already have an enviable track record of achieving impact together and our goals closely align. This next phase represents a fantastic opportunity for even more of our PhD students and staff to engage with a trusted and valued external partner to achieve transformative science and engineering for the benefit of society at large.”

Image: Alejandro Salinas Lopez © UCL

10 Mar 2020