Doha – MENA Herald: The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), in collaboration with Qatar’s Ministry of Environment, the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO) and GULFMET inaugurated the 1st Gulf Metrology Forum and Exhibition on Monday, December 14, 2015, under the patronage of His Excellency Engineer Ahmad Bin Amer Al-Hemaidi, Qatar’s Minister of Environment who attended the event at the Hilton Hotel Doha, Qatar.

The Opening

HE Engineer Ahmad Bin Amer Al-Hemaidi delivered an opening address in which he said: “Human beings have used measurements since early civilisations emerged up to modern times. The need for accurate measurements has increased with technological advancement and surge in production and global trade. Thus, developed countries had to establish specialised research centres for metrology sciences to develop standards and measurements that are internationally accepted. These metrology centres are the cornerstone of quality infrastructure in different countries. In fact, metrology is the technological language spoken by the current advanced world.”

His Excellency stressed: “Qatar National Vision 2030 is a wise roadmap that adopted development and modernisation in various sectors to diversify income sources and guarantee the sustainability of growth and prosperity in the State of Qatar. Therefore, Qatar represented by the Ministry of Environment and Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology (QS), in collaboration with GOIC, sponsored and hosted the 1st GMF. We believe in the importance of metrology as an efficient development tool in Qatar and other GCC countries.”

HE the Minister of Environment concluded by thanking all organisers, sponsors, speakers, scientists and specialised professionals and wishing the – hopefully annual –  Forum great success.

Mr. Al-Ageel

In his speech, HE GOIC Secretary General Mr. Abdulaziz Bin Hamad Al-Ageel thanked HE Engineer Ahmad Bin Amer Al-Hemaidi, Qatar’s Minister of Environment for his patronage of this key event. His Excellency also thanked all the organisers for their cooperation, notably QS, GSO, GULFMET and the companies who sponsored the 1st GMF and were full of trust in the success of the event: Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar Fuel (WOQOD), Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), the Economic Zones Company (Manateq), Specialist Group, Qatar’s Al-Sharq Newspaper, the Saudi Arabian Quality Council (SQC), Qatar Chamber, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Qatar’s Armed Forces Calibration Centre.

Mr. Al-Ageel said: “GCC countries deployed huge efforts to establish metrology organisations to keep up with international trends and promote their economies at the international level, and that was how GSO and GULFMET were founded.” He added: “GCC markets are considered global emerging metrology markets facing increasing technological challenges all over the globe. Furthermore, regional conformity assessment systems are key to the internationalisation of GCC metrology activities, not only at the level of energy industries, but throughout the various industrial sectors to fulfil the huge surge in demand of measurement services in the last decade.”

GOIC Secretary General explained: “GOIC was keen to hold this first forum of its kind in the Middle East to deal with metrology-related topics in Gulf and international markets in light of reports published by international companies operating in the area of metrology revealing that the demand of metrology services would witness an increase until 2020. In fact, the recovery of the global economy is expected to be worth 824.6 million USD per year in all industrial sectors, particularly automotive, aviation, electronics, energy and others. The recovery of the global economy will positively impact the Gulf, resulting in a surge of investments in various fields like energy, industry, health, food and their associated services.”

Mr. Al-Ageel underlined that “international industrial standards have become a key element to efficiently trade globally and to build and develop a local technological base that is capable of adapting to the global technological advancement.” He added: “In order to compete internationally, countries need to be capable of manufacturing high-quality products in accordance with international standards. Accurate measurements are needed to guarantee that products are in line with these standards, hence the need to establish a modern national system for standards to allow GCC countries to become industrially advanced countries. It would also help them keep up with fast growth of comprehensive economic activities, boost scientific and technological levels and promote the credibility of their products to be traded internationally.”

GOIC Secretary General concluded: “We hope that the Forum will result in recommendations to help develop metrology, underline its importance in building advanced societies, enact legislations and update internationally recognised technical systems and spread them in the countries of the Arabian Gulf. We wish to meet on an annual basis through this Forum to work on promoting the concepts of metrology within the economies of our countries for the best of the Gulf industrial sector and the economies of our beloved countries.”

Mr. Al-Mulla

HE Mr. Nabil Amin Al-Mulla, GSO Secretary General, delivered a speech in which he thanked GOIC for this outstanding initiative that helps raise awareness to the importance of metrology and its key role in various aspects of our daily lives, the wellbeing of humanity and the scientific and industrial advancement. “We praise GOIC for this initiative that deserves to be supported by all means”, he said.

Mr. Al-Mulla reiterated GSO’s support of this important event: “We would like to benefit from the recommendations and outcomes of the 1st GMF to improve metrology-related activities in GSO member countries. We look forward to working with all parties to support this valuable initiative promoting joint Gulf ventures.”

HE the Secretary General explained: “GSO’s foundation was to promote the economic agreement and as a key requirement for the GCC Customs Union. GSO, the regional independent measurement authority based in Riyadh started working under the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf in 2004. The Organization endeavours to develop and coordinate various metrology activities between GCC countries, including issuing Gulf standard specifications and technical regulations and developing unified systems to guarantee conformity of metrology activities.” He added: “The GSO is deploying relentless efforts to build a comprehensive set of regulations and procedures aiming at laying the foundation of a GCC quality infrastructure that is in line with internationally recognised and accepted rules, systems and practices. This reflects the commitment of GCC countries to fulfil the obligations arising from their membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

HE Mr. Al-Mulla underlined GSO’s achievements in the world of metrology at two main levels: a. updating metrology-related legislations and aligning them with international practices; b. promoting technical capacities in the field of metrology to guarantee international recognition. He explained: “GSO issued and adopted a unified system of legal metrology regulations and explanatory guides for all GSO member states that is in line with international legislations and meets the needs of member states at the same time. Furthermore, to reinforce technical capacities of member states, GULFMET was founded to boost efficiency of national metrology laboratories. The objective was to gain international recognition by being in line with the international regulations.”

Mr. Al-Mulla stated: “During the CIPM meeting in Paris on the 15th and 16th of October 2015, the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) granted GULFMET a provisional international recognition as a regional metrology organisation (RMO) having met the requirements.” He congratulated metrology professionals and called upon GSO member states to benefit from this achievement to promote metrology-related activities in their countries.

GSO Secretary General concluded: “We hope to see concerted efforts in support of the now internationally recognised RMO – GULFMET – to promote metrology in its various fields. Our ultimate objective is to meet the requirements of scientific and economic development, to fulfil the needs of the Gulf industrial sector and to protect customers. This is how we give metrology activities the attention they deserve at the regional level.”

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Dr. Marten Milton, BIPM Director General said: “The aim of metrology is to establish global agreement about measurements, and , of course, about them being right. Measurements are important in every aspect of life, whether it is countries trading goods and services or supporting their industry, patients receiving medical treatments or governments making decisions about the global environment; all of these depend on measurements that must be made on a basis that is fair and that everyone can accept.”

He added: “International collaboration in metrology started in 1875 when the Metre Convention was signed by 17 countries in Paris. This founded the BIPM and enabled the metric system based on the kilogram and the metre to be the basis for measurements worldwide. Today, the BIPM is an international organisation which has grown to 57 Member States and 40 Associate states and economies. Our work now extends to cover all types of measurement, and we currently have 72 staff based at our site near Paris.”

Mr. Milton explained: “Metrology is now recognised as an essential and integrated part of the quality infrastructure that we all depend on; it works alongside standardisation and the accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories to provide a recognised and transparent basis for confidence in trade. Ensuring that we work alongside the international organisations responsible for standardisation (ISO), for accreditation (ILAC) and also legal metrology (OIML) is an important part of our liaison work at the BIPM.”

He added: “There are now two Member States of the BIPM within GULFMET: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became a member state in 2011, and the United Arab Emirates became a member earlier this year. There are two Associate States: The Sultanate of Oman since 2012 and the Republic of Yemen since 2014. I understand that negotiations are underway in three other states including our hosts here in the State of Qatar. An essential part of the global collaboration that ensures the comparability of measurements is the regional organisations – which we call the RMO’s. They started in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific regions. More recently regional bodies have been established in central Asia and in Africa.”

The Director General stated: “I am delighted that GULFMET – under the leadership of Mr. Al-Mulla is set to become the sixth regional metrology organisation. In fact, RMOs promote and support the measurement infrastructure in their regions so that their member institutes can fulfil their missions effectively. They are committed to ensuring uniformity of measurements while promoting cooperation between their members. GULFMET has encouraged the participation of Associate members from other regions including: Turkey, Korea and Bosnia and Herzegovina – this is a very useful way to exchange knowledge to accelerate the development of GULFMET, and an important one considering its present size. In recent years, GULFMET has been working to meet the conditions for it to be recognised internationally as a Regional Metrology Organisation. I was very pleased that when the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) met in October it granted provisional acceptance of GULFMET as an RMO. This was after GULFMET had presented its plans and achievements to the joint meeting of the other regional organisations.”

“It will now be possible for GULFMET to take part in meetings of the Joint Committee of the Regions with the BIPM. This is an important step for GULFMET, that will lead to full participation in the global system alongside the other 5 RMOs when GULFMET has put in place all of the elements needed for full recognition. If we see the same progress that we have seen with the other RMOs, we can expect accelerated development of the National Metrology Institutes in the Gulf region as a result”, he added.

Mr. Milton explained: “Full recognition will enable GULFMET to play its role in implementing the work of the CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangements (the MRA) amongst the GCC nations. This is the system that is operated by the BIPM that now covers 250 organisations from 54 member states, 40 associate states and economies, and 4 international organizations. Our database now includes more than 1300 comparisons, and more than 24,000 capabilities all of which have been peer-reviewed against technical evidence. It is used around the world as a transparent and accessible basis for claims relating to the comparability of measurement standards. At the BIPM, we are working with the Directors of the National Metrology Institutes around the world to review the operation and implementation of the CIPM MRA and we have identified a number of very interesting examples of its impact. An excellent example is the work done by the NMI in China to provide on-site and on-line calibration for a European company in the communications sector, where they have produced nearly 30000 certificates. Another example is a Korean company providing calibrations in Vietnam as part of a project to build a thermal power station could show regulators that its standards are equivalent to those in the USA. We have examples from all over the world.”

The Director General concluded: “As GULFMET takes the steps towards participating as a Regional metrology organisation in the Mutual Recognition Arrangements, we can all look forward to similar examples in the GCC countries. I look forward to seeing that future progress.”

MoU and Honouring Sponsors

During the opening ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology (QS) representing Qatar’s Ministry of Environment and the Economic Zones Company (Manateq). The MoU aims at fostering cooperation and coordination in the areas of specialised technical support, IT, media, technical ventures and consulting, researches, studies, conferences, seminars, exhibitions, training and qualification.

His Excellency the Minister of Environment was then honoured along with sponsors, organisers and supporters of the 1st GMF.