Standards provide people and organizations with a basis for mutual understanding, and are used as tools to facilitate communication, measurement, commerce and manufacturing.
Standards are everywhere and play an important role in the economy, by:
- facilitating business interaction
- enabling companies to comply with relevant laws and regulations
- speeding up the introduction of innovative products to market
- providing interoperability between new and existing products, services and processes.
Standards form the basis for the introduction of new technologies and innovations, and ensure that products, components and services supplied by different companies will be mutually compatible.
Standards also disseminate knowledge in industries where products and processes supplied by various providers must interact with one another. Standardization is a voluntary cooperation among industry, consumers, public authorities, researchers and other interested parties for the development of technical specifications based on consensus.
Standardization is identified in Horizon 2020 as one of the innovation-support measures by bridging the gap between research and the market, and helping the fast and easy transfer of research results to the European and international market. The research community acknowledges this - a recent study shows nearly three-quarters (73%) of FP6 and FP7 project coordinators who included standards in their previous projects said that they would be willing to address standardization again.