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Future operation of the National Physical Laboratory

This section of the National Measurement Office website will keep you up to date with the latest developments surrounding the future operation of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

NPL building  


Update as of 27 January 2014

The four universities selected as Bidding Group Leads are currently at the stage of forming their Bidding Groups. All organisations which previously expressed an interest in becoming a partner of NPL have been contacted. Any organisation interested in becoming a member of a Bidding Group but have not yet registered their interest, can do so here to receive further information.

Previous update on the bidding process

Four organisations have been selected to lead the formation of Bidding Groups.

These are:

  1. University of Edinburgh
  2. University of Southampton
  3. University of Strathclyde
  4. University of Surrey

We are currently in discussion with these four organisations to further refine the process to develop proposals and we will issue more information about that process in the New Year. We expect the Bidding Group Leads to want to begin forming their groups in January. We have informed the four Bidding Group Leads that we are lifting the restrictions we asked interested organisations to observe following the issuing of the July document.

Establishing a new partnership for the National Physical Laboratory

On 30 July 2013 the Department launched the process to identify the Initial Partner to work with BIS in the future operation of the National Physical Laboratory.  A panel of experts has been brought together to help assess the outline proposals received.  It is expected that a shortlist of potential partners will be asked to submit full proposals in November 2013.

Previous announcements, updates and events

The Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts informed the House of Commons (via a Written Ministerial Statement) in November 2012 of his decision on the future operation of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The Minister wants to build on the success of NPL, and is keen to strengthen the world class science carried out at NPL and its ability to support innovative businesses.

Statement of progress on future operation of NPL (DOCX, 2.1 Mb) 

Read a briefing note on establishing a new partnership for the NPL (PDF, 225 Kb) 

Read the Written Ministerial Statement

Announcement of £25 million for Advanced Metrology Laboratory at NPL


Register your interest in being a future partner of NPL

Go to the NPL website


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