Help for UK companies is available now through the Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme

Posted on: 25/11/2020

Measurement for Recovery helps solve analysis or measurement issues that cannot be resolved using standard technologies and techniques.


This is a guest post from Dr Pete Thompson FREng FInstP FRSC, CEO of National Physical Laboratory


Whilst most of the UK continues to live and work with restrictions in place, the impact COVID-19 is having on the economy is evident for all to see. As a population, and as businesses, we have had to adapt and innovate new ways of doing things – from adhering to changing social distancing measures to pivoting, or in some cases, forming new businesses to meet the demands for innovative products and services. 

Supported by our colleagues in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), I was delighted to launch the Measurement for Recovery (M4R), a programme in which we are supporting companies to innovate and address the many challenges businesses currently face – by matching them with world-leading measurement scientists and engineers in their fields – and the techniques and technologies only available at NPL and our partner laboratories.

The programme offers up to 20 days science and engineering expertise, free of charge, for a limited time. A key element of the programme is the quick, easy and non-competitive application process which is open to the end of 2020 (with successful projects completed by the end of March 2021).

M4R enables UK companies to access the expertise of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the UK’s National Measurement Laboratories* which make up the National Measurement System (NMS). The programme is open to up to 400 UK companies to solve measurement and analysis-based problems that can’t be resolved using standard technologies and techniques. 

Through M4R, NPL and partners aim to help boost productivity and competitiveness in UK industry, unleashing innovation and making the UK a great place to work and do business – so far the programme has helped organisations across the entirety of the UK from locations such as Preston and Inverness to Belfast and Swansea.

Specialist measurement science is well placed to help and M4R has already assisted organisations to investigate the feasibility of concepts, the validation of products and processes, the development of new products and services and helping business to reduce costs and improve productivity. M4R has also supported projects which are directly helping the national response to COVID-19.

With over 250 applications already received, the level of interest indicates a drive to accelerate innovation enabled by measurement science and engineering. 

It is NPL’s mission, and has been since 1900, to deliver extraordinary impact for the UK and provide the measurement capability that underpins the UK’s prosperity and quality of life.  Metrology, the science of measurement, enables innovation across most, if not all sectors, and we look forward to working with more companies through M4R to innovate and find solutions to the challenges faced, to help businesses grow and to build confidence in the future.

For further information on M4R and access to the short application form, click here.

(Update, September 2021: the M4R scheme will close to new applications on 30th September 2021.

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