SBS Study on Priority Standardisation Areas for SMEs

SBS Study on Priority Standardisation Areas for SMEs

Background and purpose of the study

European and international standards cover a broad range of goods and services from lifts to cosmetics, from quality management to cybersecurity and from tattooing services to water
management. They help to ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. They are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors to increase
productivity. They help companies to access new markets, comply with legal requirements and facilitate free and fair global trade.

SMEs represent over 99% of all EU businesses. They are present in every sector of the economy and are key to ensuring economic growth, innovation, and job creation in Europe. SMEs are
potentially the biggest user of standards. Nevertheless, SMEs and especially micro-enterprises do not always play a leading role in developing standards and find it extremely difficult to get
involved in standardisation processes. Standards and their development processes are often simply too complex and difficult to understand for an SME. However, it is also the case that SMEs
do not always know how to participate, and some SMEs are not even aware of standards and their importance for their business.

Against this background and in line with the objectives of Regulation 1025/20121 Small Business Standards (SBS) aims at:

• increasing the awareness about standards and the participation of SMEs in the European
standardisation process;
• ensuring standards meet SMEs needs;
• motivating SMEs to get involved, and;
• promoting a higher uptake of standards among them.

One of the ways in which SBS does this is by ensuring the participation of SMEs in European and international Technical Committees (TCs). The number of standards developed or revised each
year is constantly increasing. SBS currently counts more than 60 experts participating in standardisation Committees at the European (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI) and international (ISO, IEC) levels. Nevertheless, these experts only cover a limited part of the ongoing standardisation work.

Considering the variety of sectors in which SMEs are involved and the increasing number of standards, it is important to identify key areas of relevance and strategic importance to SMEs
from the standardisation point of view to be able to concentrate the efforts of SBS and its experts in these areas.


Views and opinions expressed are those of Small Business Standards (SBS) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EFTA. Neither the European Union nor EFTA can be held responsible for them.