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Global collaboration for digital transformation – EURAMET

The third instalment of the 2022 World Metrology Day tale delves into EURAMET’s response to internal development demands and its interactions with representatives of the European and global metrology infrastructure to underpin digitally advanced measurement technologies and services.

Metrology has a wide range of applications and can have a substantial impact on the adoption of scientific and technical advancements. These and many other disciplines rely on accurate and comparable measurements, from requirements for efficient product design and manufacture to sustainable energy resource management and developments in the environment and health sectors.

In this context, the digital transformation vortex that underpins most phases of the products and service production and valorisation chain necessitates a ‘rising of the game’ in metrology.

 As explained by the EURAMET General Secretary Mikko Merima,

“our community seeks cooperation with several Partnerships under Horizon Europe to unlock the potential for common advancement triggered by the digital transformation ambitions of the European Union. In November 2021 we have conducted a stakeholder consultation event where our guests have expressed a strong interest to further cultivate the collaborations with EURAMET and the Metrology Partnership in order to build on the existing foundations by bolstering relevant cross-sectorial research and innovation.”

President Paolo Moscatti spoke on the digital transformation difficulties that EUROLAB, the European Federation of National Associations of Measurement, Testing, and Analytical Laboratories, and its members are facing: “In laboratories, digital transformation is taking place on a variety of levels, from automating basic tasks such as calibrating hardware systems and sample preparation, to processing complex data using advanced analytics software. Despite the many benefits, certain obstacles cannot be overlooked: a successful digital transformation requires not only the right set of tools but also the adequate expertise, guidance and resources to ensure the best outcome. In some instances, laboratories find it challenging to match the fast pace of digital transformation. Organisations such as EUROLAB and EURAMET are here to provide top level expertise acting as interactive platforms for the exchange of best practices, techniques and knowledge to ease the transition towards the digitalised lab of the future.”

The worldwide conference ‘The Lab of the Future,’ focused on subjects such as digital transformation, cybersecurity, the evolution of metrological skills, and the green lab of the future, is a EUROLAB flagship effort. “The conference is framed in the context of a broader European project that EUROLAB is currently developing together with its members and experts, to explore the opportunities for digital transformation processes in the laboratory world” highlighted Laura Martin, Secretary of the EUROLAB Board.

Digital transformation has an impact on metrology on a worldwide scale, as evidenced by the development of the JCRB’s Digital Task Group. The Joint Committee of Regional Metrology Organizations (RMOs) and the BIPM, often known as the JCRB, is a coordination body that operates under the CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM-MRA).

The Digital Task Group’s mission is to:

• Examine the effects of metrology’s digital transition on MRA equipment and processes; and

• Advise the BIPM/CIPM on the development of digital services that underlie the global quality infrastructure.

EURAMET TC-IM chair Miruna Dobre (SMD, Belgium) mentioned the BIPM Application Programming Interface built for the Key Comparison Database as part of the JCRB’s worldwide engagement on digital transformation (KCDB-API). Among its many uses, the API can be used to implement digital calibration certifications, making it a key technological achievement that enables the global metrological services’ digital revolution.

“Our colleagues from METAS have promptly responded to the BIPM invitation to test the KCDB-API facility by providing constructive feedback on its current features as well as suggestions for further advancements” Miruna explained. “This initiative is a fine example of concrete actions that RMOs are encouraged to put forward in order to foster confidence and recognition of calibration and measurement certificates, according to the terms of the MRA.”

“Successfully achieving the digital transformation of Europe will require engagement from a wide range of metrology, standardisation, accreditation bodies and all organisations with an interest in the quality infrastructure. Our community will consolidate the collaborative exchanges on all levels to support the implementation of the Digital SI through sustained efforts and audacious initiatives undertaken within the framework of the different EURAMET structures, metrology networks and research programmes.”

This deep dive into the world of European measurement science has demonstrated how EURAMET and the European Partnership on Metrology are essential enablers of EU policies by providing metrological solutions that are appropriate for the Digital Era’s technological and societal goals.

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