Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Australia's National Measurement Institute (NMI) and China’s National Institute of Metrology (NIM)

Date published:
18 June 2024

On 12 June 2024, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s National Institute of Metrology (NIM).

The MoU  underscores the commitment of both nations to promoting scientific excellence and innovation through international collaboration. It was signed by NIM Vice Director Dr Xinhua Dai and NMI CEO and Chief Metrologist Dr Bruce Warrington.  

Memorandum of understanding

Memorandum of understanding between the National Institute of Metrology of the People’s Republic Of China and the Government of Australia, as represented by the National Measurement Institute. 

This Memorandum Of Understanding (Mou) Is Entered Into Between:

The National Institute of Metrology, hereinafter referred to as “NIM”, affiliated to the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), of the People’s Republic of China, having its head office at No.18 Bei San Huan Dong Lu, Beijing 100029, China, and being represented by Dr Dai Xinhua, Vice Director, NIM,


The Government of Australia, as represented by the National Measurement Institute, hereinafter referred to as “NMIA”, a division within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, having its head office at Bradfield Road, West Lindfield, NSW 2070, Australia, and being represented by Dr Bruce Warrington, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Metrologist, NMIA,

Both hereinafter referred to as the “Participants” collectively, or “Participant” individually.

There is no intention that this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) be legally binding on either Participant.

Paragraph 1: Purpose

The objective of the MoU is to strengthen relations between the Participants and to provide a framework for cooperation in measurement standards and related basic and applied physical and chemical sciences, and other related fields as may be jointly determined. As such, this MOU renews the cooperation under the MoU established in 2010 and renewed in 2015. This MoU replaces any previously signed MoUs between the Participants. 

Paragraph 2: Cooperative Activities

The Participants mutually consent that the above mentioned cooperation may be carried out in the following forms: 

2.1 Exchanges of scientific and technical information and development activities and practices including exchange of documents and technical standards; 

2.2 Research and development activities in the form of experiments, tests and other technical collaborative efforts in disciplines of mutual interest; 

2.3 Exchange of personnel, including short term visits by individuals or teams to the facilities of the other Participant, assignments of visiting scientists to each Participant’s laboratories for periods to be mutually arranged by the Participants; 

2.4 Exchange and provision of samples and materials, including standard reference materials, reference data, instruments, and components for use in testing or evaluation; 

2.5 Comparisons of measurement standards; 

2.6 Joint academic exchange activities, including but not limited to co-organization of symposiums, seminars, workshops by the Participants; 

2.7 Cross-disciplinary engagement to address measurement challenges in areas of mutual priority such as food safety, energy efficiency and health;

2.8 Exchanges to build awareness of strategic priorities to inform and strengthen engagement; and 

2.9 Such other forms of cooperation and collaboration as mutually arranged.

Paragraph 3: Planning and Review of Activities

The plans of cooperative activities to be carried out under this MoU will be periodically reviewed by the designated representatives of the Participants, and the point of contact for the coordination of activities will be the International Relations Office for NMIA and the International Cooperation Department for NIM.

Paragraph 4: Intellectual Property, Confidentiality and Publications

4.1 Either Participant will be free to use any scientific and technical information provided by the other Participant in the course of cooperative activities under this MoU for its own internal research and development purposes. Any commercial use of such information will be the subject of a separate arrangement to be negotiated by the Participants on a case-by-case basis. 

4.2 Unless a separate arrangement sets out a different approach, the Participants will keep non-public information shared between them confidential and ensure that information is not subject to unauthorised access, interference, use, loss, or disclosure other than as permitted by clause 4.3. 

4.3 Non-public information provided by one Participant to the other will not be disclosed other than: 

a) to personnel of a Participant; 

b) where authorised or required by law or a Participant’s governmental accountability or policy requirements in relation to official disclosure; or 

c) where the Participant that provided the information has provided its prior written consent to the disclosure. 

4.4 Joint publications or activities between the Participants are to be coordinated; the research cooperation between the Participants is to be clearly stated in all publications of findings and other outcomes arising from the cooperative activities. 

4.5 Neither Participant will seek to patent inventions and findings jointly created within the scope of cooperative activities under this MoU without prior written arrangement between the Participants. 

4.6 Where the Participants do not arrange to seek to patent inventions and findings jointly created within the scope of cooperative activities under this MoU, and unless otherwise specified in separate arrangements, both Participants may use inventions, findings and other outcomes jointly created by the cooperative activity as they choose subject to any limitations contained in Paragraphs 4.1 to 4.5 above.

Paragraph 5: Separate Arrangements

5.1 Specific projects will be identified, whereby collaborative activities between the Participants would be mutually advantageous. Whenever more than the exchange of technical information is planned, such activities will be described in a separate arrangement which will set out, as appropriate, the activity, a work plan, staffing requirement, contact persons, cost estimates, funding source(s) and other conditions which may include but are not limited to intellectual property and publication requirements where necessary. In case of any inconsistency between the terms of this MoU and the terms of a separate arrangement, the terms of the separate arrangement will prevail. 

5.2 Any third party involved in the joint scientific cooperation will also be required to sign the relevant arrangement. 

5.3 Although the Participants intend to enter into separate arrangements by virtue of discussions arising out of this MoU, this MoU does not commit either Participant to enter into any such arrangements.

Paragraph 6: Funding

Cooperative activities under this MoU are subject to and dependent upon the availability of funds and personnel. Decisions on funding for joint activities will be made by mutual arrangement between the Participants and detailed in the separate arrangement as set out in paragraph 5 of this MoU. Neither Participant is required to administer funds pursuant to this MoU.

Paragraph 7: Compliance with Export Controls and Regulations

The Participants understand that goods and/or technology transferred during the course of this MoU may be subject to export control laws and that each Participant is responsible for its own compliance with such laws.

Paragraph 8: Duration

8.1 Subject to Paragraph 8.2, this MoU will remain in effect for a period of five (5) years from the date of signature. This MoU may be amended or extended by prior written consent between the Participants, with the understanding that either Participant may terminate this MoU by sending at least six (6) months prior notice to the other Participant through the point of contact identified in Paragraph 3. Notwithstanding the above, the cooperative activities which commenced prior to termination of this MoU will be subject to the terms of this MoU as if this MoU remained in effect after the date of termination of this MoU. 

8.2 The provisions in Paragraph 4 will remain in effect after the termination of this MoU.

Paragraph 9: Dispute Resolution

This MoU is not governed by international law. The Participants will attempt, according to the provisions of this MOU and (where apposite) of each relevant separate arrangement, to resolve peacefully any disputes resulting from:

a) Joint scientific cooperation under this MoU or any separate arrangement; or 

b) The interpretation or application of the terms of this MoU.

Paragraph 10: No legal rights or obligations

This MoU does not create any legal rights or obligations. 

Signed by authorised officers of each Participant on 12th June 2024 in English and Chinese languages with each of the copies being equally valid. In the event of a difference of interpretation, the English text will prevail.