Standards+Innovation Awards 2020 

The 2020 edition of the CEN and CENELEC Standards+Innovation Awards was held on 10 September 2020 to celebrate and acknowledge the important contribution of research and innovation to standardization.

One award was given to a European research project that successfully contributed to standardization and one to an individual who introduced research outcome or innovation into standardization. Nominations for these awards came from the CEN and CENELEC national members and represent success stories of combining innovation and standardization from all over Europe. In total, nine nominations were received for the project award category and nine for the individual award category. All nominees have been assessed based on three criteria: link with standardization, impact for the sector in which they operate, impact on the society and environment.

The winner for the category ‘Project’ is NEXTOWER, nominated by UNE, Spain’s National Standardization Body. NEXTOWER is a Horizon 2020 project which introduces a set of innovative ceramic and metallic materials to boost the performance of atmospheric air-based concentrated solar power (CSP) systems to make them commercially viable. Based on the results of the project, CEN/WS NEXTOWER ‘Very high temperature accelerated ageing of flat ceramic specimens by concentrated solar power’ is currently developing a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA). The project has also proposed a revision of ISO 18755 ‘Fine ceramics (advanced ceramics, advanced technical ceramics) — Determination of thermal diffusivity of monolithic ceramics by laser flash method’ based on the contents developed for NEXTOWER tests methods. Currently, there is a discussion in CEN/TC 184 on the adoption of the future ISO 18755 as EN ISO, replacing current EN 821-2. NEXTOWER has been awarded because of its extensive contribution to standardization activities, both at European and international level, and because of its use of standardization for making commercially viable a new innovative technology which will help to increase the efficiency of renewable energy sources.

The winner for the individual award category is Fiona DELANEY, nominated by NSAI. Ms DELANEY is founder and CEO at Origin Chain Networks (OCN), an Irish agri-tech startup advancing digital transformation in the agri-food sector. OCN has submitted to ISO TC307 ‘Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies’ a proof-of-concept use agri-food case called Universal Farm Compliance, which describes a blockchain-enabled cooperative compliance platform for use by farmers and agri-compliance bodies, facilitating rapid and near real-time data-sharing. Universal Farm Compliance helps farmers and the entire agri-food ecosystem to implement safer, more transparent food supply chains. Fiona Delaney has been awarded because of her involvement in standardization in the innovative field of interoperable blockchain infrastructure and for her contribution in advancing digital transformation in the agri-food supply chain.

All nominees are presented on the dedicated webpage.

You can watch the award ceremony at this link.

For more information please contact Livia MIAN.