The document was signed by the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and EURAMET's Chairperson (and NPL's International Director) Dr Kamal Hossain and Vice-Chairperson Dr Jörn Stenger. This was the essential step for the realisation of EMPIR.
The 43-page Delegation Agreement summarises the successful completion of a three-year process on the way to EMPIR. The fruitful cooperation between the European Commission, the 28 participating EURAMET member states, various stakeholders, organisations and EURAMET officials in numerous events and meetings was the driving force for the necessary steps. One important milestone was the successful completion of the co-decision process mid-2014: EMPIR was part of a proposal from the European Commission which was accepted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
'EURAMET appreciates the true spirit of collaboration between the European Union and the metrology community,' commented Kamal Hossain. 'On behalf of EURAMET, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to all the people involved who gave their best to make this programme come true.' Now the programme will be implemented with a 10-year term, including a broad range of research topics and a total budget of €600 million.
'We are grateful for all the broad support and the close cooperation established with our partners. The support and the interest in the new programme demonstrate the importance of metrology research for innovation in all societal areas, economic competitiveness and for many scientific communities,' emphasises Jörn Stenger. 'Now we are looking forward to the implementation of the programme and the joint research projects to start.'
EMPIR and its predecessor, the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP), are co-funded by the European Union and the participating states, and focus on research in metrology to address society's Grand Challenges in areas such as energy, environment and health. With EMPIR, there is an increased focus on innovation activities to target the needs of industry and accelerate the uptake of research outputs. The programmes enable European National Metrology Institutes, industrial organisations and academia to collaborate on joint research projects. Since 2007, 140 joint research projects have been funded under the EMRP, with a further 19 to start now as EMPIR's Delegation Agreement was signed, and many more to come in the next EMPIR Calls.