The development of reference materials at JRC is driven by the needs of EU policies. Therefore, JRC has to provide certified reference materials which are crucial as anchor points for the calibration of measurements in complex natural and man-made systems and for the benchmarking of and within control and reference laboratories. New reference material developments will be focused on scientifically cutting-edge materials with new measurand/matrix combinations and material properties as close as feasible to the real-world samples to be controlled for EU legislation.
The main areas cover biotechnologies and molecular biosciences, health, the environment and energy, advanced engineered materials including nanotechnology, safe and high-quality food, and nuclear safeguards. The reference function of the JRC implies also the need to ensure the provision of crucial reference materials on a long-term scale.
JRC has established a modern quality management system. Since 2004 the Unit is accredited according to ISO Guide 34 and ISO/IEC 17025. The corresponding accreditation scopes are systematically updated based on the work programme and strategic considerations.
Most of the reference material projects are performed in collaboration with various external institutions and JRC invites competent parties to express their related interests.