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[no.25] Asia Pacific Metrology Programme

SPRING is here!
Re-making Singapore
The Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB) has been renamed SPRING Singapore (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board).SPRING stands for Standards, Productivity and Innovation for Growth.

The change, which took effect from 1 April 2002, is part of the Singapore government 's effort to restructure key statutory boards in order to reposition Singapore for the innovation-driven phase of economic development.

SPRING Singapore's mission is to raise productivity so as to enhance Singapore's competitiveness and economic growth for a better quality life of our people. In carrying out its mission, SPRING Singapore focuses on three areas: productivity and innovation; standards and quality; and small and medium-sized enterprises and the domestic sector.competitiveness and economic growth for a better quality life of our people. In carrying out its mission, SPRING Singapore focuses on three areas: productivity and innovation; standards and quality; and small and medium-sized enterprises and the domestic sector.

Mr. Lam Kong Hong

Metrology for an Innovation-driven Economy
In repositioning PSB to SPRING Singapore, there is also need for a paradigm shift in our Metrology Programme. While the existing approach to metrology is still relevant, we will have to play a more catalytic role in the development of more innovative, smarter, and higher quality products. Metrology can therefore take up a key position in steering the shift of industry towards the innovation-driven phase of development.

We face many new challenges. For example, the demand for greater precision in measurement has become very aggressive and is already pushing metrology into nanometrology to support rapid advances in the application of nanotechnology. Growing trends of companies bringing metrology to the shop floor is significant in highlighting the importance of metrology in improving productivity, product quality, and its impact on global trade issues through standardisation. And of course, the obligation to meet requirements of the CIPM mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) will mean greater emphasis on establishing equivalence of measurement standards and demonstrating competence in our calibration and measurement services.

To meet these impending challenges, SPRING Singapore has repositioned its metrology activities as a division. The National Metrology Centre now comprises four departments, each headed by a Programme Director, with specific focus on the respective competence areas:

* Electrical Metrology
* Microwave, Time & Frequency Metrology
* Temperature & Optical Radiation Metrology
* Dimensional and Mechanical Metrology


There will be specific needs in niche industries to set up and maintain their own traceable calibration systems. This will call for an NMI to act as the source for knowledge and expertise from which industries can consult. To remain relevant, we will need to continually improve measurement capabilities to stay ahead of industry. We must be in a position where the metrology of the NMI today will be the metrology of the industry tomorrow.

The key is to build up capabilities through high-level scientific work. The biggest challenge is to position ourselves in a way that industry will look beyond just as a 'calibration house' and realise that there is a knowledge bank available at their disposal.


Lam Kong Hong
Director
National Metrology Centre
(a division of SPRING Singapore)

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