EURAMET e.V. is a public utility association created on 11 January 2007 and registered under German law.
EURAMET replaces EUROMET, which was formed in Madrid in 1987 under a Memorandum of Understanding. EUROMET initially comprised the national metrology laboratories of the member states of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). It subsequently incorporated new EU member states and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). Some non-EU countries such as Turkey and Serbia also became full members. EUROMET was dissolved in June 2007 and all its activities were transferred to EURAMET.
EURAMET currently comprises the National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) of 35 countries (member states of the EU and EFTA, and EU applicant states).
EURAMET was set up to develop cooperation of all kinds among NMIs in Western Europe and to ensure efficient use of their metrology resources. From the outset EURAMET has placed special emphasis on cooperation in research and development, and to this end has set up a European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP).
At present some 22 countries are contributing to the EMRP. In 2008 the EU launched the first phase, iMERA-Plus (funded under the ERA-NET Plus bridging mechanism), comprising 21 Joint Research Projects. The French metrology network is participating in 14 of these projects and leading four of them.
At the end of 2009 the European Parliament approved Article 169 for metrology and the second phase of the EMRP was launched. A first call for projects on Metrology for Energy was followed by the selection of Joint Research Projects (under the FP7 framework programme). The French metrology network is contributing to eight of the nine selected projects and is coordinator of JRP "Metrology for biofuels". A second call for projects on Metrology for Industry and Environment is under way.
Each member institute (LNE for France) is represented by a Delegate. Together these Delegates form the EURAMET General Assembly, which meets at least once a year to discuss the objectives and strategy to be developed within EURAMET. The Chairperson of EURAMET is elected for a period of three years (non-renewable) by the General Assembly. He or she is assisted by a Secretariat and two Vice-Chairpersons, also elected by the General Assembly.
One Vice-Chairperson concentrates on activities specific to EURAMET. The other is appointed Chair of the EMRP Committee. As with the EURAMET General Assembly, each member institute of the EMRP Committee appoints a representative to sit on the Committee. Not all EURAMET member institutes belong to the EMRP Committee. At present, 22 of the 33 EURAMET NMIs are members of the EMRP Committee.
A nine-member Board of Directors is elected by the General Assembly to ensure the running of EURAMET between meetings and assist the chairperson in his or her duties.
The EURAMET Secretariat is organized into specific components in order to manage the association's various activities as efficiently as possible. They handle EMRP Joint Research Projects, procedures for projects financed by the European Union, and activities relating to projects defined by the Technical Committees (see below), such as quality assurance management in laboratories or inter-laboratory comparisons.
To oversee EURAMET's technical activities, twelve Technical Committees (TCs) have been set up. They cover the following fields:
Each collaboration project in a specified field is placed in one of the following categories:
Some 1,000 projects were launched by EUROMET between 1987 and 2007. Around 700 of them were finalized.
EURAMET took over the EUROMET projects under way and is carrying them through. It has since launched around 160 new projects.
On average, four to five NMIs have worked on each of these projects. The larger countries are the key players in European metrology and have inevitably made the biggest contribution to the projects, but all EURAMET member institutes play an active part. The substantial number of projects is proof of the success of EUROMET – and now EURAMET – in fostering Europe-wide cooperation on research and knowledge transfer.
The various cooperation categories vary widely in scale. The five years following implementation of the CIPM MRA saw an unprecedented rise in the number of interlaboratory comparisons, performed to demonstrate the equivalence of national standards. Collaboration on joint research and development projects is the most highly valued type of cooperation, underlining the keenness of Europe's metrologists to work together.
LNE plays an active role in the work of EURAMET through the involvement of its twelve contact persons and its membership of EURAMET's Board of Directors. LNE's Luc Erard chaired the EMRP Committee until January 2010, when Jörn Stenger of PTB (Germany) took over from him.
State of the iMERA project - January 2007 (pdf - 502 Ko)