As already explained in the 2004 Annual Report, the re-organization process of the Italian Research Institutes involved in Metrology and reporting to the Ministry for the University and Research (MUR, previously Ministry for Education, University and Research - MIUR) requires that not only the scientific and technical activities of these Institutes, but the organizational aspects of scientific metrology in Italy as well be mentioned in this report.

One of the most important steps toward the establishment of the National Institute of Research for Metrology (INRIM) obtained by merging the Istituto Elettrotecnico Nazionale "Galileo Ferraris" (IEN) and the Istituto di Metrologia "Gustavo Colonnetti" (IMGC-CNR) was a legislative decree approved by the government on 21 January 2004 and published in the Official Gazette on 16 February 2004. According to the decree, the aims of INRIM are specifically the carrying out of research in metrology and acting as a National Metrology Institute. By 31 December 2005 this process reached its conclusion, and within INRIM the research and high-level scientific and technical activities in metrology were unified in one Institute which covers most areas of scientific metrology.

To make INRIM operative the Commissioner, in Spring 2005, forwarded to MIUR the regulations concerning Organization and Operation, Budget Accounts and Finances, and Personnel. The three regulations have been approved by the Ministry and were published in the Official Gazette on 2 December 2005. As a consequence INRIM became fully operational on 1 January 2006. Moreover, in July 2005 the INRIM President was nominated and at the end of the same year the Board of Directors and the Board of Auditors were appointed.

At the beginning of 2005 INRIM, although not yet operative and with IEN and IMGC still separate, presented its 1st Triennial Program according to instructions given by the Ministry. In preparing this document inhomogeneities between the data available from the two institutes were pointed out; however the maximum possible level of fusion was pursued on that occasion.

As far as research is concerned the Institute's policy is to strengthen the existing positions of excellence and to single out new initiatives of value. Quantum mechanics, fundamental constants, nanotechnologies, material sciences and mathematical tools to process observed data, to model experiments and to design are the most appealing areas for cultivation.

INRIM is present in the initiatives of international metrological bodies, such as CIPM (Consultative Committees and Joint Committees, Mutual Recognition Arrangement); co-operates with BIPM and participates in the evolution of EUROMET toward an association serving the promotion of science and research and European co-operation in metrology. Moreover, it is present in programs of the European Union and of the European Space Agency, co-operates with many National Metrological Institutes, with Universities and other Institutions, and supports Doctorate Schools of the Università di Torino and of the Politecnico di Torino, in particular the Doctorate in Metrology.

Elio Bava
Torino, July 2006