Focussing on precision measurement and production of measurement standards became a successful scientific strategy at Uppsala University. Throughout the 1800s, technology-oriented basic research grew, supported by constant interaction with colleagues in other countries.

When scientific instruments became more technologically advanced, research also became more expensive. During the 19th century laboratories and observatories moved into the universities, which grew larger.

Due to their geographical remoteness from the cultural and scientific centres of Europe, Swedish universities were slow to adopt new developments. One way for institutions to still be strong players in international research was to cooperate in measurement projects. To focus on precision measurement and production of standards became a scientific strategy for creating significant international scientific influence.

In Uppsala, this strategy worked for more than a hundred years. Modern science came to have a symbiotic relationship with advanced technology, where technological developments affect research and vice versa.