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NPL success in Knowledge Assets grant funding

The Knowledge Asset Grant Fund supports the repurposing, commercialisation and expanded use of public sector assets

NPL is among the first recipients of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) new Knowledge Assets Grant Fund and has been successful in all six of its applications. This new fund is designed to support public sector organisations in repurposing, commercialising, or expanding their use of knowledge assets - including inventions, confidential know-how, data and software.

As the UK’s National Metrology Institute, NPL, provides the measurement capability that underpins the UK’s prosperity and quality of life. Our mission is to ensure that our measurement expertise drives the UK’s innovation landscape and is utilised to its utmost to support UK industry, in particular in its ongoing recovery from COVID-19.

Successful NPL projects include:

  • Supporting NPL spinout, Celsius Health, with the creation of a CE Marked platform that will allow high fidelity thermal datasets to be generated in field of healthcare. This technology has a range of clinical applications, with the initial research focused on diabetes. The platform will be key in generating feedback from clinicians and patients.
  • Developing the autonomous capabilities of atomic magnetometry to reflect the needs of potential future users, with applications in materials production, manufacturing and security. Atomic magnetometer technology has been developed by NPL as a platform for penetrative, non-destructive testing and identification of a wide range of objects with metallic content. NPL has long-standing expertise in the area of quantum-enhanced atomic sensors.
  • Further development of the methane NICE-OHMS system (Noise-Immune, Cavity-Enhanced, Optical Heterodyne Molecular Spectroscopy) for identifying and quantifying methane emissions in support of net-zero. NICE-OHMS is capable of trace gas analysis down to ppb levels and these measurements also have the potential to enable the source of leaks of methane to be detected. This could be a technical enabler for a future regulatory framework around net-zero.
  • Preparing NPL’s patented medical ultrasound technology to be suitable for use in a clinical setting.

This technology has the potential to transform breast cancer diagnosis, being the first device to enable breast density assessment outside a hospital setting, safely and effectively without using X-rays. This assessment will provide invaluable personal data and enable a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer to be assessed alongside other known risks, such as familial history, diet and genetics.

  • Further development of graphene-based sensors to be optimised for clinical diagnostics.  NPL has led the world in the in the characterisation and measurement of two-dimensional materials like graphene. These sensors will then be used to understand the repeatability and uncertainty of this technology and how it compares to existing testing.

NPL is committed to supporting the government’s drive to make the UK a great place to work and do business, unleashing new innovative ways of building, making and doing things. All underpinned by the confidence measurement science provides.   


08 Feb 2022