Brussels, 25 May 2012 - Leaders and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in different European countries are taking part in a series of interactive workshops where they will learn about how standards are being made at national and European levels, and how they can get involved in standardization activities.
The first interactive workshop took place on 25 May in The Hague (The Netherlands), organised by the Dutch Standardization Institute (NEN) in partnership with the Dutch Association for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MKB-Nederland) and the Dutch Confederation of Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW). Participants learned about the benefits of standardization for SMEs, how standards are being used by different kinds of companies, and how they can get involved in the standards-making process.
The event in The Hague was the first in a series of workshops that are being organised in 18 EU and EFTA countries, with the aim of promoting and strengthening SMEs' involvement in standardization. The next ones are due to take place in Italy (28 September), Luxemburg (11 October), Ireland (19 October), Austria (8 November), France (14 November), and Greece (23 November). Further workshops will be held in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
These workshops are being organised part of a European project called 'SME Standardization Toolkit (SMEST 2)', which aims to strengthen and promote the links between SMEs and standardization in terms of awareness, information and participation. The SMEST 2 project is supported by the EU (European Union) and EFTA (European Free Trade Association), and is being managed by a consortium including CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), NORMAPME (European Office of Crafts, Trades and SMEs for Standardisation), and the National Standards Bodies of Austria (ASI), Germany (DIN) and the Netherlands (NEN).
"During the national workshops, SMEs and their representatives will learn how standards and participating in European standardization can improve their businesses. Best practice examples will be presented, in order to emphasize the benefits of standardization. As the workshops are organised by the National Standards Bodies with support of the SMEST project team, the workshops will provide an opportunity to start and strengthen relationships between the national standardization institutes and the SME associations" – said the SMEST Project Manager, Tanja Pijpaert-van Tooren (Standardization Consultant at NEN).
SMEST 2 (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Standardization Toolkit) is a project supported by the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The project was launched in 2011 as a follow-up to the first SMEST project (2008-2009), and is being managed by a consortium including CEN and CENELEC, NORMAPME, and the National Standards Bodies of Austria (ASI), Germany (DIN) and the Netherlands (NEN).
For more information please see: www.smest.eu
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