The JRC carries out research in a wide variety of fields. Located across five sites throughout the EU, seven research institutes work in the areas of agriculture and food security, energy and transport, environment and climate change, health and consumer protection, information society, safety and security, innovation and growth, measurements and standards, and nuclear safety and security.
Good health care requires reliable measurements of health status markers, mainly in blood samples. Such In-Vitro Diagnostics measurements need to be comparable over different hospitals and countries, and over time. The JRC performs pre-normative research, develops reference materials and methods, and coordinates the input from the medical profession and industry for the standardisation process. The JRC contributes to regulatory initiatives from the European Commission, and to documentary standards from e.g. the International Standards Organisation.
The JRC provides state-of-the-art certified reference materials as quality assurance and quality control tools for the implementation of EU environmental policies.
The certified reference materials distributed by the JRC give measurement laboratories a means to validate analytical methods, to assess the quality of the measurement results and to demonstrate their traceability to stated references such as the SI units. Over the years, the JRC has developed a broad variety of food related reference materials covering a wide range of analyte/matrix combinations.
Fuel quality is an important energy issue for industry as well as for citizens. When using fuels in car engines or domestic heating, systems consumers need to be sure that the fuel does not cause any malfunction or damage to their equipment. Similarly, consumers are increasingly aware also of the environmental impact of their fuel consumption. The JRC provides certified reference materials for fuel analysis for a wide range of parameters relevant for the quality and environmental impact of fuels, be it conventional fossil fuels or biofuels.
For the implementation of the European legislation that regulates the authorisation and the labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the JRC develops, produces and distributes certified reference materials. These CRMs are used for the calibration or quality control of GMO quantification measurements.
Reference materials for materials science underpin many industrial processes and give companies as well as regulators the confidence in these measurements that strengthen assessments of legal as well as company and customer-specific specifications. This work supports the common European market and helps European companies to compete on a global scale
The regular occurrence of food borne pathogen related outbreaks in the EU, the ongoing struggle with pathogens in health care and public health as well as the security threat related to the potential misuse of pathogens emphasise the need for an adequate and reliable monitoring system and preparedness against these risks. Consequently the JRC is aiming at maintaining a high level of quality of the measurements which have to be carried out in this context by developing and providing suitable quality assurance tools, such as reference materials, and measurement techniques.
The JRC produces reference materials that are used to develop and monitor the measurement methods needed to characterise the properties of nanomaterials, which are the basis of nanotechnologies.
Verification and detection in safeguarding nuclear material, conformity of information on materials and processes in nuclear forensics, as well as response in nuclear security are based on reliable measurement results with appropriate quality control tools as prerequisite. JRC provides nuclear material measurement standards, nuclear reference measurements and conformity assessment tools to safeguards authorities, industry and the international measurement community. This support includes the development of new reference materials, measurement services as well as development of reference measurement methods and their implementation.