Finally, after a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, familiar as well as new faces from the Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP) and from the Developing Economy Committee (DEC) were able to meet in person in Bangkok this year. A strategic planning workshop, which was organized by PTB within the scope of the project titled “Metrology – Enabling Developing Economies in Asia” (MEDEA), took place there from 14 to 17 February 2023. Anna Kalkuhl, coordinator of the project, and Alexis Valqui, facilitator of the workshop, also took part.
The APMP is an association of national metrology institutes from the Asia-Pacific region. Its task is to improve the regional metrological competences by transferring expert knowledge and by exchanging technical services. The DEC is a committee of the APMP, which is specifically dedicated to the needs of institutes in developing countries.
The workshop was mainly dedicated to reviewing and further developing the Strategic Plan and the instruments of the DEC. Moreover, the Task Force Leads, who significantly advance and support the DEC with their activities, were able to intensify their contacts with each other. This was especially useful in giving developing countries the opportunity to become interconnected via a joint international network and to participate at an international level. The participants also discussed the ongoing activities of the MEDEA project as well as ways of making better use of the existing initiatives and resources within and outside of the APMP in order to ensure the implementation of the future Strategic Plan.
The workshop started with the introduction of the new DEC Chair S. D. I. Dias from Sri Lanka, whom we wish all the best for his term of office. He is succeeding the long-standing officeholder Dr. Angela Samuel, who was especially valued by all the members for her consistent, active and passionate commitment and to whom we would like to express our gratitude for the excellent cooperation. The next items on the agenda were the monitoring and the evaluation of the previous Strategic Plan from 2021 and the ongoing activities, which largely received positive feedback. However, the analysis showed that there is some room for improvement as well, and this was included in the future Strategic Plan as a result.
On the second day of the workshop, all the participants were warmly welcomed by the staff of the National Institute of Metrology (Thailand) (NIMT). Within the scope of fascinating laboratory tours, they gained a valuable insight into the work of the NIMT. The employees of the NIMT reported on their experiences and developments in the field of digital transformation and took the participants on laboratory visits focussing on the Kibble balance, the calibration of infusion devices, suitability tests of medical PPE suits and water analysis. The remaining two workshop days were used to prepare the processes for elaborating the DEC Strategic Plan 2024-2026.
The feedback given by the participants was positive throughout the event. This meeting, which took place over one week and where all the interested parties could meet in person, was very useful. It gave the attendees an opportunity for team building, for being informed about the ways of supporting the MEDEA project and for setting the milestones for further successful cooperation. It was also very important for the new DEC Chair to gain an impression of his new duties. He was able to exchange many new ideas with the Task Force Leads to advance the future Strategic Plan of the DEC.
Cover image ©istock