National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB)

At a glance

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany’s National Metrology Institute, was established in 1887. This is where lengths down into the nanoworld are measured, where scientists research the fundamental questions of physical units and where laboratories calibrate measuring instruments for maximum accuracy requirements. But that’s not all. Since 1960, the core competence of part of the 2,000-strong workforce has been focussed on international development cooperation.

European and international digitalisation projects

Digitalisation is also playing an ever more important role in the PTB’s partner countries. National quality infrastructure institutions need to provide or develop answers for the requirements of business and society. Thanks to its solid integration into European and international digitalisation projects and its worldwide network, the PTB is able to involve partner institutions in international discussions and processes. First experiences, such as in the quality of software in measuring instruments or in the digital calibration certificate, are shared and partner institutions from developing countries are invited to exchange forums and events.

Innovations can also be encouraged by the targeted use of digital possibilities, such as new or large volumes of data. In addition, discussions with partner countries on specific requirements can be supported and South-South cooperation activities can be established and expanded. Where appropriate, the PTB can also directly support the establishment of digital infrastructure as part of the international cooperation or via capacity development.

Support for developing and emerging countries in international dialogue formats on the topic of digitalisation

The PTB supports the active participation of its partner organisations in international and scientific dialogue formats on the topic of digitalisation. An example of this is the organisation of an international online workshop on the topics of digital calibration certificates, metrology cloud and digital transformation strategies for metrology institutes.

Digitalisation action plan

Rather than making use of large digital pilot projects, the PTB is focussed on implementing numerous small, but more targeted digital solutions in international cooperation projects. Examples include helping laboratories set up an intranet, holding blended learning courses in regional projects or concepts for digital project management developed together with the partner organisations.

Potentials of a digital quality infrastructure for sustainable development

The digital transformation is having a significant impact worldwide on the future design of quality infrastructure, its services and their use for sustainable development. The question thus arises as to what potentials this entails for BMZ partner countries and how these can be used.

PTB International Cooperation has therefore created an animated video to outline answers to this question in a kind of vision of the future. You can join Anna and Manolo in their (still) fictional experiences in a digitally transformed world where the Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved.

After watching the video, we invite you to share your views on what a digitally transformed world should best look like. Together, we can then work to develop and make available to all a quality digital infrastructure that will help make this vision a reality.

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