German-Brazilian measuring instruments partnership

November 29, 2007

If a manufacturer of measuring instruments wishes to export his products to another country, then a crucial question for him is will the reliability of the measuring device (tested in his country) be accepted when it passes over the country's border. If not, then the device must be recalibrated in the target country which makes the business more expensive and thus less attractive. An agreement between Germany and Brazil will now be able to strengthen the trade relations between these countries. In the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the state metrological institutes of both countries, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO), commit themselves to in future accept certain of the partner's calibration results and moreover to cooperate extensively in the field of metrology.

They are unequal partners: vast Brazil, which - viewed economically, however - is regarded as a newly industrialized country; and small Germany with its globally significant industry. As the process of industrialisation is only possible on the basis of a well-organized metrology system, an agreement such as this also involves development assistance. "But Germany itself profits here ultimately", explains PTB President Prof. Dr. Ernst O. Göbel. "After all, significant markets are opening up here - and trade with measuring instruments is an absolutely serious economic factor."

In addition to the mutual recognition of calibration results, the Memorandum of Understanding also comprises joint research activity all around the SI base units (the basis of all measurement), joint development of new measuring instruments and -processes, the participation in international comparison measurements, the exchange of experts, and much more. This applies to the various fields within metrology - from basic research to industrial metrology and also to chemical metrology.

Both presidents signed the Memorandum of Understanding during the Generalkonferenz für Maß und Gewicht (General Conference on Weights and Measures) which was held in Paris from 12 to 16 November.
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Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

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