The European Union has decided to further promote a scientific discipline that underpins modern technologies in
healthcare, energy, security as well as environmental protection, by setting up a joint research programme in
metrology. While it might not be one of the best-known science disciplines, metrology, which focuses on exact
measurements of physical and technological units, yields results that are vital for the development of new
technologies and consequently for Europe's competitiveness.
"In this discipline, strategic coordination is absolutely essential. Today, European research in metrology is fragmented", said Jana Reinišová, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the EU and head of the team which brokered the deal between the Member States and MEPs. "And yet metrology has a fundamental impact not only on the competitiveness of the EU's economy, but also a direct impact on people's lives", added Reinišová.
Metrology is of key importance in a number of sectors, such as the manufacturing of precision medical instruments and diagnostic technologies. It is also the cornerstone of the development of nanotechnologies, which are already widely used in textiles, cosmetics, packing technologies and detergents. In the energy sector, it contributes to efficient and sustainable use of resources, and in the area of environmental protection, it helps develop cutting-edge monitoring technologies. Last but not least, in the field of security, in addition to other uses, metrology helps detect harmful substances.
The compromise negotiated by the Czech Presidency and the European Parliament, was approved by the Member States at the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper I) on Tuesday 7 April. The EP will now confirm the agreement by a vote in the plenary and the whole procedure will be formally rounded off by ministers of the EU Member States. The proposal is expected to come into force before the end of this year.
The EMRP programme will bring together 22 national metrology programmes of the EU Member States and associated countries to the Framework Programme 7 for research and technology development. Half of its EUR 400 million budget will be provided by the participating countries and the other half will be covered by the EU budget. The funds will be distributed among science projects.
The European Commission submitted the proposal for a decision on the participation by the Community in a European metrology research and development programme undertaken by several Member States in early December 2008. The programme will be set up on the basis of Article 169 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, which provides for the participation of the Community in joint research programmes undertaken by Member States.Mgr. Tomáš Bouška
Spokesperson of the MEYS for CZ PRES
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