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Exploiting and commercialising new technology

NPL has an excellent track record

Commercialising world-class research to maximise its impact

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. NPL’s Intellectual property (IP) covers the full range of our science and engineering expertise and is recognised by:    

  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Trade secrets
  • Confidential information

Contact us

As we are in the business of finding solutions to your problems, we are happy to discuss the best way of doing this. We are actively looking for licensee and partners to work with us.

You can work with us in a range of different ways, including:  

  1. Setting up a new spinout company which can help leverage private funding for an opportunity
  2. Negotiating a new licence with an existing independent company with the resources or market position to secure impact from our research
  3. Assigning or selling the entire IP to a third party, which means NPL no longer has commercial rights to the technology

Usually the IP is available for licence, but sometimes we need to discuss how you can access the knowledge or we may need to introduce you to the relevant researchers. The IP may result from a collaborative research project or from NPL propriety work. When a potentially valuable innovation has been identified and protected appropriately, NPL works with the researchers to explore the commercial opportunity.


NPL has a long history of innovation and commercialising technology

Since its establishment in 1900, NPL has been delivering innovations to improve prosperity and quality of life for those living in the UK. In the late 1960’s NPL invented packet switching, a key ingredient of the internet, and this was then further developed into general computing and ultimately quantum computing. The Kibble balance, formerly the watt balance and renamed after Bryan Kibble who worked at NPL, was developed in the 1970s. It compares electrical and mechanical forces, which allows the kilogram to be realised in terms of quantum electrical units.

More recently, NPL has been involved in metrology and characterisation of graphene to facilitate the commercialisation of graphene. The world’s first room temperature maser, which produces monochromatic electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, was invented at NPL and is used in atomic clocks.  We have developed a way of using existing optical fibres in our communications infrastructure to detect seismic activity – an innovative use of existing technology. NPL has also worked in collaboration with companies and universities to support innovations as diverse as graphene-based sensors to radiation treatment for medical equipment.

Innovation webinars

UK public sector organisations are now leading and enabling a new generation of radical innovations. The expertise found within science laboratories is driving ground-breaking research and development and delivering these games changing ideas into the hands of the customers.


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