Brussels, 18 October 2012 - The European Standardization Committees CEN and CENELEC have launched a new section on their website as part of their ongoing efforts to promote the use of standards by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and facilitate the active participation of SMEs in standardization. The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' makes it easier for SMEs to access information about standards, and find out how they can get involved in contributing to the development of new standards.
The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' has been developed by CEN and CENELEC on the basis of discussions with their members across Europe and in close cooperation with NORMAPME, which represents the interests of SMEs in the European Standardization System.
The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' was presented at a launch event, which was held at the CEN-CENELEC Meeting Centre in Brussels on 17 October. This event was organised in the framework of the European SME Week, and was attended by representatives of SMEs, SME organisations, industry federations, business consultants, the European Commission, societal stakeholders, regional governments, and members of CEN and CENELEC.
The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' is designed to take visitors on a journey into the world of standards and standardization. The Toolbox covers the benefits of standards, how to find the right standards, and where to obtain relevant information. It also invites SMEs to consider getting involved in standardization activities, and outlines the ways in which they can influence the development and revision of standards at national, European and international levels. Increasingly this can be done via the internet, using online tools.
CEN and CENELEC members are being encouraged to make more information available to SMEs at national level, for example by developing and improving the information they publish on their own websites, using the European SME Toolbox as a model.
PHOTO: Launching the 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' in Brussels on 17 October 2012: (from left to right) Sebastiano Toffaletti - Director of NORMAPME, Mike Low - CEN Vice-President Policy, Elena Santiago Cid - Director General of CEN and CENELEC, David Bell - Chair of the SME Toolbox Task Force.
Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, said: "We know that successful SMEs are vital for the European economy. But unfortunately, many SMEs are not fully aware of how standards can help them to be more successful. By using the right European Standards, companies can make sure that their products and services correspond with their customers’ needs and that they also comply with EU legislation. They can then sell their products and services throughout the whole of the Single Market, which gives them access to a potential market of more than 500 million consumers."
The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' can be found (under 'SME and Standards') in the SME section of the CEN-CENELEC website: www.cencenelec.eu/sme/std
The European SME Week is an initiative of the European Commission (Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry): http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/initiatives/sme-week
NORMAPME is the "European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardisation". NORMAPME is exclusively devoted to the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises in the European standardization system. Its members represent over 12 million enterprises in all European countries, including all European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states.
NORMAPME participates in the structures and activities of CEN and CENELEC. It is recognised as an 'Associate' of CEN and as a 'Cooperating Partner' of CENELEC.
For more information please see: www.normapme.eu
Read the full press release (pdf version)
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