Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme invests in UK manufacturing innovation to boost post-lockdown recovery

12 August 2020

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NPL_M4R_Measurement for Recovery_580x280

NPL has announced its Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme, a scheme to help UK manufacturing recover from the economic effects of lockdown & the COVID-19 crisis. The role of measurement science is vital in getting the UK ‘back to business’ & through its M4R programme, NPL is working with National Measurement Laboratory partners to provide access to cutting-edge expertise.

According to management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to 7.6 million UK jobs being at risk, including 17% of manufacturing jobs, following six straight months of declining UK manufacturing employment. Launched today by National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s National Metrology Institute, Measurement for Recovery (M4R) is a programme to support UK industry in its recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19). The M4R programme will provide access to cutting-edge R&D, expertise and facilities to help solve analysis or measurement problems that can’t be resolved using standard technologies and techniques.

The programme, which will run until the end of 2020, will enable up to 400 businesses to have access to NPL scientists and world-leading experts in testing & measurement laboratories and associated resources, helping reduce waste in manufacturing process, improve verification of products to avoid unnecessary revisions and speed up the integration of smart factory technologies for more efficient production lines. The innovative application of measurement expertise in areas such as material selection, non-destructive testing techniques, and tools to monitor equipment and processes can help address recovery objectives, while boosting the resilience and competitiveness of the UK’s industries. The aim of the M4R programme is to help boost productivity and competitiveness in UK industry, unleashing innovation and making the UK a great place to work and do business. Measurement accuracy can have profound impacts on the robustness of supply chains, as well as on the underlying engineering.

As part of the programme, NPL is working alongside partner National Measurement Laboratories. Combined, this offers industry access to some of the most advanced facilities, techniques and technologies available in the world, and will allow companies to be matched to the best scientists and facilities to solve analysis or measurement problems.

NPL is no stranger to national crisis, supporting the war efforts during both World Wars and supporting UK industry through numerous global financial crises – the guiding principles set out during the official opening of the National Physical Laboratory, in 1901, by HRH the Prince of Wales, who said: “The purpose of the National Physical Laboratory is to bring scientific knowledge to bear practically upon our everyday industrial and commercial life”, and as a national laboratory, this statement still holds true today.

Dr Pete Thompson FREng, CEO of National Physical Laboratory (NPL) said; “I’m delighted that our scientific and engineering expertise is being utilised by UK industry to restart, recover and grow. Our scientists and engineers, through the Measurement for Recovery programme, are helping UK businesses to understand new regulations, processes and working arrangements, as well as advising on the development of new products. As a multi-disciplinary laboratory, we offer independent and respected advice that gives confidence to the companies we work with. It is this, combined with our partnership with the UK’s National Measurement Laboratories, that will enable us to support innovation, boost productivity and increase resilience and competitiveness to make the UK a great place to work and do business going forward.”

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About NPL

NPL is the UK’s National Metrology Institute, providing the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life.

From new antibiotics to tackle resistance and more effective cancer treatments, to secure quantum communications and superfast 5G, technological advances must be built on a foundation of reliable measurement to succeed. Building on over a century’s worth of expertise, our science, engineering and technology provides this foundation. We save lives, protect the environment and enable citizens to feel safe and secure, as well as support international trade and commercial innovation. As a national laboratory, our advice is always impartial and independent, meaning consumers, investors, policymakers and entrepreneurs can always rely on the work we do.

Based in Teddington, south-west London, NPL employs over 600 scientists. NPL also has regional bases across the UK, including at the University of Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Cambridge and the University of Huddersfield's 3M Buckley Innovation Centre.

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