Located in Geel, Belgium, the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) is one of the seven institutes of the European Commission’s Directorate General Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The JRC’s Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (JRC-IRMM) brings and builds confidence in measurements, supports competitiveness and contributes to standardisation through its activities on harmonised testing methodologies, reference materials, pre-normative research, formal documentary standards and certification.
JRC-IRMM is the second largest producer of matrix certified reference materials (CRM) worldwide and is the market leader in provision of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) reference materials. It is also an expert adviser in measurements related to food safety, quality and biotechnology, as well as a valued provider of reference measurement data.
The institute currently employs over 250 staff working in multidisciplinary areas such as: aviation security, health diagnostics, food and feed safety and quality, advanced materials, nuclear safeguards, nuclear safety and security. JRC-IRMM currently operates four European Union Reference Laboratories in the area of food safety control.
The year 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the institute, formerly known as the Central Bureau for Nuclear Measurements. JRC-IRMM’s scientific portfolio has evolved over the years to adapt to emerging societal challenges; developing sound solutions and standards that underpin innovation and growth.
Quality assurance tools
Accuracy and reliability are at the heart of the JRC-IRMM. Accurate and reliable measurement results enhance our quality of life, supporting industrial competitiveness, delivering better healthcare, safer food and a cleaner environment. Moreover, the competitiveness of the European economy and the smooth functioning of international trade depend considerably on reliable measurements, which eliminate the need to duplicate or dispute testing data.
A recognised provider of quality assurance tools such as certified reference materials, validated analytical methods, proficiency testing and guidelines, the JRC-IRMM helps to improve the measurement capabilities of laboratories not only in EU Member States but also worldwide.
The institute is committed to delivering quality assurance tools to laboratories worldwide. It is the first European reference material producer having obtained accreditation according to ISO Guide 34 and it is accredited by the Belgian Accreditation Body (BELAC) for measurement benchmarks according to ISO guidelines.
JRC-IRMM staff also contributes actively to the work of standardisation bodies, amongst those the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many testing methods validated by JRC-IRMM together with its collaborators have been approved as standards of CEN and ISO.
The Institute’s work in the field of metrology and standardisation is widely recognised. For instance, various technical committees of ISO use expert advice of JRC-IRMM on reference materials for their specific application fields.
Experts participate actively in the work of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC International), the Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS), the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), the Codex Alimentarius, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) and the Association of European Metrology institutes (EURAMET).
You can watch IRMM videos explaining more about the work we do at our institute. To see a selection of more videos from JRC and its other institutes, please visit the video gallery JRC's Audiovisuals channel on YouTube.