Standards for innovation: examples

Examples of Why businesses need standards

Support to Business to meet legal requirements, and thus supporting Commerce by removing technical barriers

There is a variety of Directives (see website of the European Commission) which contain essential requirements for products to be allowed on the EU-market but where the technical specification is described in related harmonized standards; the essential requirements typically address safety for health, consumers and for the environment.


Note: Art.2, EU Reg. 1025/2012 - ‘harmonised standard’ means a European standard adopted on the basis of a request made by the Commission for the application of Union harmonisation legislation; the objective is of course the facilitation of the single market; this relies on standardization since European Standards have to be implemented as National Standards for all 34 CEN-CENELEC member countries.

Benchmark for quality and performance of products and services

EN 16798-1:2019 "Energy performance of buildings - Ventilation for buildings - Part 1" specifies criteria to be used in standard energy calculations for indoor environments meant for human consumption. It does so not by specifying design methods – leaving manufacturers free to provide their own – but instead it gives parameters that need to be respected in the design of building heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting systems, in order to make them more energy efficient.

To make innovation easier

EN 50342-6:2015/A1:2018 "Secondary cells and batteries" applies to ‘starter batteries’ with a nominal voltage of 12 V, used primarily as power source for the starting of internal combustion engines (ICE), lighting and also for auxiliary equipment of ICE vehicles. The batteries under the scope of this standard are used in so-called Start-Stop vehicles: in cars with this special capability, the internal combustion engine is switched off during a complete vehicle stop or during idling without the need of supporting the vehicle movement by the internal combustion engine. Naturally, if this system allows for an increase in energy efficiency, it requires special types of batteries, as they are stressed in a completely different way compared to classical starter batteries.

To promote new technologies and “best practices”

Example of promoting best practice.

Trust and reliability are fundamental characteristics for software systems in the digital era, as they ensure the complex digital infrastructure that powers our environment. The standard EN IEC 62853:2018 “Open systems dependability” seeks to address this. It focuses on open systems dependability, this is the ability of a product to do its job when required and for the duration desired without encountering problems.

Open systems have to be considered as a solution to complex situations for which, in software systems, no single stakeholder has a full understanding of the system or risks. A typical example are autonomous systems, where security is especially important since the systems are much more exposed to attack by malware.

To diffuse innovation and knowledge on the market place

EN 17351:2020 ‘Bio-based products - Determination of the oxygen content using an elemental analyser’ describes a direct method for determining the total oxygen content in bio-based products, thus allowing the certification of bio-based products using standard methods for all relevant elements. The standard provides the reference test method for laboratories, producers, suppliers and purchasers of bio-based products, but can also be useful for authorities and inspection organizations.

Part of the research leading to this document has been performed under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme OpenBio, making the standard a tool to diffuse innovation into the market place.

For interoperability of products and services

Non-ICT example: Sampling of airborne pollen –comparison of results

The standard EN 16868:2019 ‘Ambient air - Sampling and analysis of airborne pollen grains and fungal spores for networks related to allergy - Volumetric Hirst method’ responds to a need for a common language: in the wider Europe, it is possible to count 400 pollen monitoring stations in nearly 30 countries. In this context, the standard sets common rules to allow these many stations to work together and compare their results.


ICT-example: Industry 4.0 standards

See ISO Focus Magazine (Nov/Dec 2018)

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