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Helping industry transition to net zero

Innovation accelerated by measurement science and technology

Applying reusable and environmentally-friendly resources  

A future economic recovery has the potential to deliver the new UK infrastructure, products and services of a world leading green economy. Our work in this area covers three key areas:

1. Supporting the commercialisation and widespread use of novel and advanced materials

We develop and standardise measurement capabilities that support light weighting by accelerating innovation within materials and processes​. Our Mechanical Test Facility, is one of the UKs most comprehensively equipped laboratories for advanced engineering testing and evaluation of novel materials.

2. Providing the measurement infrastructure for alternative energy supply and use

We develop and standardise measurement methods for alternative energy supply and propulsion technologies focusing on high efficiency electrification using hybrid, battery and hydrogen sources​. Our report, Electrification of vehicles, identifies and prioritises measurement challenges affecting innovation and development of power electronics, machines and drives.

3. Enabling a net-zero manufacturing supply chain

We develop the measurement capability to accelerate the innovation of advanced machinery and processes that will create the manufacturing supply chain for a future net zero emission economy.​

Contact us to find out more about our prosperity work.

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Metrology expertise

As the UK's National Metrology Institute, we provide the measurement framework and infrastructure to encourage innovation. To support industry transition to net-zero we develop:

  • novel physical and virtual test strategies to verify the materials, design and manufacturing process performance
  • the metrology and skills to assure quality and productivity of emerging technologies
  • the regulations, codes and standards that enable UK industry to adopt novel materials and virtual validation techniques with confidence
  • the full range of quality assurance techniques required for disruptive manufacturing technologies
  • the relevant data quality strategies needed for adoption and certification of new materials and technologies

Supporting UK manufacturing

We are working to enhance the UK's capabilities to realise hydrogen products to support generation, storage, supply, and consumption. Our objective is to develop the metrology to enable the intelligent design, development and verification of structures, vessels and infrastructure for transportation and dispensing of hydrogen fuel.

Optimisation of batteries and integration within e-machinery is key. We aim to develop the metrology capability required to support emerging UK academic and industrial infrastructure for batteries and their integration with application systems for different uses.

We are experts in power electronics, machines and devices for motion and control. Our activity is aligned with other UK government funded initiatives such as FEMM Hub (Sheffield), Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Centres, ATI Future Flight and similar programmes to realise the greatest possible impact.

Our team of professionals has experience in industry, consultancy, non-profit organisations, science and innovation. The team sets NPL's prosperity strategy, assessing UK and international market drivers and policy developments.

We work closely with our scientists to inform NPL's approach to current and foreseeable industrial challenges.

We create partnerships with key stakeholders from the private, public and non-profit sectors to help drive innovation.

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Mechanical Test Facility

Find out more about NPL's Mechanical Test Facility for physical and virtual product assurance of advanced materials.

Find out more

Comprehensive reports for industry

Electric and hybrid propulsion

In the fast changing environment that characterises the development of power electronics and drives innovation in electric vehicles or electric aircraft, robust measurement plays a vital role in the success of technology development. As the UK’s National Metrology Institute, our expertise in supporting industry define and update standards both for measurements of specifications and for qualification of products is crucial.  

Electric and hybrid propulsion report

Hydrogen storage utilising Type IV containers

Ambitious commitments to reach net zero emissions are being set globally and nationally, such as the UK’s Energy White Paper and the European Green Deal. Zero emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) powered by hydrogen fuel present a cost effective option for medium and heavy-duty vehicles, however, hydrogen in compressed gaseous form presents several challenges from a safety perspective. The report presents a comprehensive and easy to follow map of the existing regulatory framework for type-approval of Type IV hydrogen storage containers.

Approval process for hydrogen fuel containers report

Case study

Demonstrating a quality control method for liquid dispersions of 2D materials


Case study

Improving safety in automated vehicles


Case study

Providing the confidence to use composites in new applications


Case study

Measuring large-scale, fine-feature printed electronics


Working with NPL

Our researchers are at the forefront of new innovations that promise to deliver new solutions to prosperity challenges. We play a vital role in providing reliable data for to develop the standards and assurance to accelerate new products to market. Learn more about our research areas and working with our experts.  

If you have a research collaboration where our expertise can help, please contact the team and discuss your challenge.

Contact us

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