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New European Reference Materials (ERM) Initiative will harmonise chemical analysis

LGC's Chief Executive, Dr Richard Worswick, joined leaders from Europe's major Certified Reference Materials (CRM) producers last week to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the new European Reference Materials (ERM) Initiative, which is designed to harmonise and further improve quality, reliability and performance in chemical analysis.

The signing of the founding documents, which also includes a brand name licence agreement, concludes the first step of a joint venture between LGC, Europe's leading analytical laboratory and the major supplier of CRMs in Europe, the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) of the European Commission, and the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM).

Speaking at the ceremony in Geel, Belgium, on 8 October, Dr Worswick said: "This initiative will create a European brand of Reference Materials (ERMs) that will be accepted and recognised worldwide for their high metrological quality. It will also contribute to the emerging European Research Area by joining forces to co-ordinate and further develop specific competences and resources for European CRM preparation activities. Combining efforts in CRM production and dissemination will significantly contribute to strengthening the common European market".

The ERM Initiative recognises that it is in the public's interest to create a reliable European chemical measurement system and that there is also a need to increase the support of European legislation and trade with high-quality Certified Reference Materials. The initiative is expected to expand as the number of signatories increases; it will seek to integrate other European CRM producers that prepare, certify and handle CRMs according to ISO Guides 34 and 35 and that are also signatories or designated laboratories of the CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA).

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dr Richard Worswick, LGC Chief Executive, Dr Alejandro Herrero Molina, Director of the IRMM, and Prof Dr Manfred Hennecke, President of BAM, at IRMM headquarters in Geel, Belgium. The ERM brand licence agreement was signed by Dr Barry McSweeney, Director General of the Joint Research Centre.

The official launch of the ERM Initiative is due to be held at Analytica, on 11-14 May 2004 in Munich, Germany, where a selected range of ERM products will be introduced.

Quelle: LGC Promochem GmbH