Brussels, 08 July 2002
EU Commissioners Philippe Busquin and Margot Wallström attended the launch of a new research network, METROPOLIS, on 5 July. The network will focus on the quality measurements necessary to manage sustainable development policies.
The consortium will also work to improve, harmonise and disseminate essential and practical knowledge in metrology, identify gaps in science and collaborative know how and propose research actions.
'In the eyes of the layman, metrology is an activity without great intellectual content and rather boring, the junior subject and, [...] slightly subsidiary to scientific endeavour. Nothing is more untrue. Modern science was born with the quantification of observable phenomena, [...], so with measurements,' said Mr Busquin.
The Research Commissioner also highlighted the key role that metrology has played in the development of knowledge, for example on the development of the theory of relativity.
European Commissioner for the Environment Margot Wallström also emphasised the importance of metrology: 'To protect our environment, we need to identify its status, know the threats and pressures. If we didn't have measurements, we couldn't do our job,' said Ms Wallström.
She welcomed the Metropolis initiative, describing the network as 'an active forum, from which we will be able to seek direct advice. [...] I am sure that we will make the best possible use of the results that you will generate,' she said.
METROPOLIS brings together 38 institutes, including two of the Joint Research Centre's (JRC) institutes, universities and enterprises from 17 countries and will receive Community funding of 970,000 euro from the Fifth Framework programme's Growth programme over two years. METROPOLIS is expected by the Commission to pave the way for the European research area (ERA) in the field of environmental monitoring.
The concept of the network was born at a conference on the challenge of measurements in the field of environment, health and safety in June 2001. The network is headed by a management committee formed by INERIS, the French national institute for environmental safety and risks. The work package is split into six areas: biomonitoring techniques, analytical chemistry and reference materials, online measurements and data transfer, quality assurance and uncertainty assessment, standardisation, and communication of measurements results and support to decision making processes.
For further information on the project, please contact:
Eddie Maier (DG Research)
Tel: +32 2 295 6138
Philippe Quevauviller (DG Environment)
Tel: +32 2 296 3351
Ginette Vastel (INERIS)
Tel: +33 3 44 55 66 08
or consult the following web address: