A successful European public-public partnership – Commission report on the interim evaluation of the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP)
Brussels, 16 April 2012
On 16 April, the Commission adopted its report assessing the achievements of the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP), an initiative started 3 years ago. Since 2009 metrology research in Europe is jointly addressed, financed and investigated between 22 European countries and the EU in a joint programme, implemented by EURAMET e.V. The Commission was supported during this evaluation by an independent expert panel chaired by Ms. Pia Locatelli, former Member of the European Parliament.
It is almost impossible to describe anything people do without referring to measures. In Europe we measure and weigh at a cost equivalent to 6% of our Gross National Product. Metrology (the science of measurement) has become integral part of our daily life, without us realizing it. Police speed traps affect our humour and our private economies if we are too fast. The quantity of active substances in medicine, blood samples, and the effect of the surgeon’s laser must also be absolutely precise; otherwise we may risk our life. We are all permanently affected by measurements around us.
Operating solely independent national metrology activities as a way to address European citizens' needs had reached its limits. A single European initiative like EMRP was urgently needed. Today the Commission concludes that EMRP has fundamentally changed this situation. It has performed well to most of its initial objectives in what concerns nearly 85% of its total financial resources (400 million€), namely the pooling of excellence in metrology research. In relation to capacity building, interaction with the wider scientific community and mobility of researchers' further progress is expected in the remaining years of the programme.
The Commission shares the expert panel view, that the EMRP is a well managed and progressively more and more integrated European programme. It has transformed a specialised and fragmented community into a successful public-public partnership confirming the advantages of the European Research Area.
The Commission will therefore continue to support the current programme as foreseen in the Decision from 2009 between European Parliament and Council.