U.K. Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced a £25 million investment to expand the country’s national standards institute. The investment, Willetts said, will be used to build a new Advanced Metrology Laboratory, “a state of the art laboratory for cutting edge measurement research. The creation of advanced facilities at the National Standards Laboratory in Teddington will allow scientists there to undertake leading edge research in key nano and quantum metrology programmes.”
The measure is intended to boost Britain’s national competitiveness in manufacturing, process control, communications, and transportation, and to move the country into the forefront of development in key technologies, including high-accuracy optical clocks and frequency measurement, graphene-based electronics, quantum detection, surface and nanoanalysis, and advanced materials.
The new facility at NPL will mean 20 new laboratories with workspace for about 40 metrologists, with stringent temperature and humidity controls and isolation to reduce interference from acoustic, electrical, and magnetic sources.
The investment builds on an earlier announcement that NPL would strike partnerships with academic and applied-science organizations to develop new technologies and create a new NPL postgraduate research institute.
The Advanced Metrology Laboratory expansion was part of a £600 million (roughly US $900 million) technology-development package that includes £189 million for big data and energy efficient computing, £35 million for center of excellence in robotics and autonomous systems, and £30 million to for R&D on grid scale energy storage technologies.
Image: UK National Physical Laboratory