Measurement for Recovery (M4R)

Posted on 10 Nov 2020 by The Manufacturer

As the UK manufacturing industry continues its recovery from the global pandemic, the need to build resilience and boost competitiveness has never been more critical. 

A new programme from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and partners* called Measurement for Recovery (M4R) is providing access to its specialist science and engineering expertise, support and facilities, available free of charge for a limited time.

The Measurement for Recovery programme offers access to world-leading specialist science and engineering advice, support and analytical expertise over a period of up to 20 days, free of charge for a limited time period. Examples of the types of problems M4R is helping to address include support for everything from supply chain management, social distancing requirements and supporting the restart of production lines or instrumentation to compliance, new product development and verification and supply chain evaluation. In fact, M4R invites UK industry to bring any problem which they believe could be answered by the UK’s top measurement scientists and engineers and the specialist facilities at their disposal.

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the UK’s National Metrology Institute and provides the measurement capability that underpins the UK’s prosperity and quality of life. The role of measurement in manufacturing is of course well recognised, where it fundamentally underpins activity which includes our transport systems, production processes, supply chains, instrumentation and quality – just to name a few. All of these systems work because we have confidence in the measurements that underpin them. These measurements are an infrastructure, agreed globally and implemented locally, they are the invisible glue that binds everything together. Those using our measurement system benefit from their measurements being stable over time, comparable with others and accurate, allowing known confidence in measurement results.

That measurement system is at the heart of the new programme. The goal of M4R is to ensure that the measurement expertise of NPL and the partner laboratories continues to help drive the UK’s innovation landscape and is utilised to its utmost to support UK industry in its recovery from COVID-19 and beyond.


Applications for the M4R programme are open until the end of 2020 (with projects to be completed by 31 March 2021) and will enable support for up to 400 UK businesses. A key element of the programme is the fast and simple application process which requires only a short (300 word maximum) overview of the problem to be addressed, submitted with basic company and contact information. Applications are assessed on a non-competitive basis and the scientific teams delivering the project aim to respond to applicants within 3 to 5 working days following receipt of application.

To date almost half of the places on the M4R programme have been snapped up, with projects across a variety of different industries and disciplines being undertaken, including: helping to unleash innovation and solve critical industry challenges, helping to bring products to market quicker, increasing the robustness of supply chains and finding ways to overcome roadblocks in engineering and ultimately aiding businesses and industry in being more resilient.

Successful applicants to the programme have the opportunity to work in partnership with NPL, NML at LGC, NIBSC, TUV-NEL and NGML. The diverse skill set of the M4R delivery partners means the programme can match businesses with experts who meet the right criteria and are able to provide support and solutions specifically tailored to their needs.

image courtesy of NPL.

Entering the autumn months we hope that this programme will increase the adoption of better measurement and in turn provide significant competitive advantage for the UK – aiding the government’s drive to make the UK a great place to work and do business, unleashing new innovative ways of building, making and doing things. All underpinned by the confidence measurement science provides.

If you would like to know more about the Measurement for Recovery programme – or if you believe you have a project which world leading measurement science expertise can help solve, then further information and the Application Form is available on the NPL web site at

*Led by NPL, the Measurement for Recovery programme enables participants to access the specialist expertise of laboratories across the UK National Measurement Laboratories – LGC, NIBSC, TUV-NEL, NGML.