University of Manchester signs partnership with National Physical Laboratory

The University of Manchester and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), stating a commitment to further build on their close partnership.

The signing of the MoU is a statement of commitment from the two organisations to collaborate closely in Net Zero metrology and Life Science and Health research, formalising their strategic engagement.

The MoU will initially be supporting and accelerating innovation; utilising NPL’s measurement expertise and infrastructure to meet the UK’s 2050 net zero targets and bringing confidence to the commercial exploitation of advanced materials for sustainability. Similarly, this work will also be applied to Life Sciences and Health research, translating early-stage research through to industrial applications.

As the UK’s National Metrology Institute, NPL collaborates with academics across the UK’s research infrastructure and is focused, through its economic recovery work, on supporting local partnerships, SMEs and the UK Government’s regional investment. This MoU recognises the critical role that The University of Manchester plays in the local economy and the wider influence it has across the region and on national and international stages.

Existing collaborative research with between the two organisations spans all faculties and addresses many of the grand challenges we see in our world today. The research focuses on projects to meet societal needs in sectors such as energy and transport, healthcare and the digital economy and the partnership will ensure growth in key areas and align strategic priorities for both organisations.

The signing of the MoU recognises a long history of collaboration at a research level, between both organisations, which has resulted in benefits for the UK. Previous joint research has accelerated the uptake of Proton Beam Therapy and has brought confidence to industry through developing measurement protocols for Graphene materials. The organisations have a number of joint high impact publications and research outputs, as well as joint students, and visiting researchers and lecturers.

Speaking about the partnership, Dr Peter Thompson, CEO of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) stated: “As organisations we share the same ambition, to use our scientific knowledge and expertise to meet the UK’s 2050 net zero targets and accelerate innovation. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding today will ensure our collaboration continues to meet societal needs and I am delighted that through this partnership we will collectively demonstrate the impact science and engineering can have in solving some of the greatest challenges we face.”

Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester stated: ‘’The signature of this MoU is an exciting milestone in the already well-established relationship between the University and NPL. Our joint goal is to strengthen existing areas of collaboration through this agreement as well as find new ways to work together that bring value to our organisations and the wider scientific community.’’

This initiative comes at a critical time in the development of The University of Manchester’s role in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Local Enterprise vision and as NPL continues to support UK industry facing unprecedented challenges as a result of Covid-19. Both organisations aim to combine efforts helping society recover and grow post pandemic.

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