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Tackling poor air quality and associated impacts

To celebrate Clean Air Day 2020, NPL announces network formed to address the metrology needs for Clean Air programme and associated challenges

NPL will lead a newly formed Network, funded through the Met Office as part of the SPF Clean Air Wave 2 programme. As the UK’s National Metrology Institute and a Public Sector Research Establishment (PSRE), NPL is well-placed to offer independent expertise at the interface between academic research, industrial innovation and policy development and implementation.

The SPF Clean Air Wave 2 programme brings together; the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Met Office, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK, Medical Research Council (MRC) and Science Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and aims to equip the UK to proactively tackle the challenges associated with poor air quality and support in the safeguarding of public health.

The principle reason for NPL’s involvement in the Clean Air programme is to bring independent metrological expertise to the diverse research activities being undertaken within the programme, and operation of the Metrology Network provides an ideal route to achieve this goal.

The network will identify common areas of metrological importance and issue best practice guides that address these common issues. These will be made available within the programme to enhance the metrological robustness of the programme research and disseminated externally to ensure the work of the network has an ongoing legacy in the quality and consistency of the outputs of air quality research.

Tom Gardiner, Science Area Leader, Emissions and Atmospheric Metrology, NPL states: “The fundamental goal of metrology is to ensure that the result of any measurement is fit for purpose. This quality assurance activity usually involves characterising, and ideally quantifying, the level of confidence in the result. Developing common metrological methodologies forms a key element in addressing this challenge across the research and innovation teams involved in the Clean Air programme - together with a recognition of the benefits they can bring in terms of ensuring research quality, improving the interaction and understanding of information flow between disciplines, and providing end users with the assurance they need in the validity of conclusions.”

Matt Hort, Clean Air programme science lead, Met Office states: “Air quality is a significant challenge in every country in the world. Measurement data is critical to improve our understanding and to enable us to target the actions needed to improve air quality. However, It is vital that we understand the accuracy of these measurements and so I am very excited that NPL will be leading this cross cutting activity to bring together expertise and best practice in this vital aspect of air quality science.”


08 Oct 2020