Newsletter – Issue 1 – 2018

Newsletter – Issue 1 – 2018

Commission reports on progress towards European standards for 21st century

In January 2018, the European Commission delivered a new report ‘on the implementation of EU standardisation policy and the contribution of European standards to EU policies’. The publication aims to encourage further EU-level discussion between policymakers under the new inter-institutional dialogue on standardisation. It also offers guidance on future standardisation priorities to help the EU’s jobs, growth and competitiveness agenda.
The new report builds on the Commission’s 2016 Communication setting out a new vision for EU-level standards. By going beyond technical support for harmonisation, the European Standardisation System (ESS) will be better adapted to meet future economic challenges. Included in this report are an overview of developments in previous Annual Union Work Programmes, the Communication on ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market, and the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS) to which SBS is a signatory.
Available in all EU languages, the report covers the new vision’s policy elements, e.g. innovation, better goods and services, jobs and growth, global value chains, and avoiding single market fragmentation. It also looks at cooperation with stakeholders, e.g. JIS, and Annex III organisations such as SBS – which itself works to involve small businesses in standards development. The report highlights the SBS 2018-2021 strategy, adopted in June 2018, to ensure that standards developed are SME-compatible, in line with the ‘think small first’ principle.Greek seminar on standards for small businesses

On 24 January 2018, in the Athens auditorium of the Greek Association of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (GSEVEE), Greek SME and standardisation stakeholders gathered for an SBS seminar aimed at raising awareness on the value of standards for smaller companies. Besides GSEVEE, there was support for the seminar from ELOT, the Greek standardisation organisation, and NQIS, the National Quality Infrastructure System, as well as the Greek Ministry of Growth and Competitiveness. Speakers included representatives from the aluminium and beautician’s sectors, who explained their experience or practice with standards, and Annalisa Tessarolo from DG GROW’s Standards for Growth Unit. Veronique Willems, Secretary General of the European SME umbrella organisation UEAPME, gave an overview of the latest EU-level developments for SMEs.

Twinning seminar for enhanced capacity in Sofia, Bulgaria

The second edition of the SBS twinning seminar, designed to build more capacity among a country’s standardisation stakeholders, was held on 25-26 January 2018 in Bulgaria’s capital city. The goal was to exchange good practices between National Standardisation Organisations (NSOs), so that their activities and initiatives always include SMEs in standardisation at national level. Hosted by the Bulgarian ICT Cluster, the seminar brought together a wide range of participants including European and National Standardisation organisations, the European Commission and stakeholders from the Balkan region, to exchange experiences on SMEs’ participation in standardisation.
SBS Secretariat is now hiring!

SBS is seeking a full-time and highly committed Standardisation Policy Officer, to join its dynamic team in Brussels from early March 2018. Interested candidates can find out more here.

SMEs should benefit from latest EU approach to Standards Essential Patents (SEPs)

In late 2017, the European Commission set out the new EU approach to Standards Essential Patents (SEPs), i.e. the patented protected technologies such as WIFI and 4G that are key to everything from smartphones to the Internet of Things. Many SMEs and start-ups depend on the availability of such technologies. Developing technologies that are standardised through SEPs is also a very profitable business, with patents for 2G, 3G and 4G standards yearly generating royalties of €18 billion.
For SEPs, high stakes and the diverging interests of technology implementers and patent-holders have created a complex situation. The Commission therefore recently intervened to establish a more balanced and efficient system for all stakeholders. This system notably includes non-discrimination between rightholders and implementers, as well as covering transparency, certification, essentiality checks, patent pools, and awareness-training.
A detailed analysis of the European Commission’s Communication on SEPs was published by the SBS member responsible for the ICT sectoral approach, the European DIGITAL SME Alliance. Read the analysisDigital competences now have their own SME User Guide

Europe is facing a shortage of IT professionals. As technology is pervasive in every area of work and life, this digital skills gap could negatively impact our growth, competitiveness and innovation. To assist skilled IT professionals enter the labour market, the European Commission supported the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) project, which worked on developing a standard – EN 16234 – in which SBS was deeply involved. This standard helps employers by providing a common language to describe digital competences, skills, knowledge. It can be used for the professional development of IT specialists all over Europe.
Published in December 2017, SBS’s e-CF SME User Guide aims to provide extra support to SMEs making practical use of the e-CF. The Guide contains information on the type of SMEs that stand to benefit especially from implementing the EN 16234 standard. It also outlines the e-CF contents and principles.
Read the e-CF SME User GuideGoing up! IoT coming to lifts through ETSI Smart M2M

Since 2017, SBS has sent a lift sector representative to the ETSI Smart M2M Technical Committee. The objective of the Smart M2M (Machine-to-Machine) standard is to connect lifts to the Internet of Things (IoT). This ‘smart lift’ enables data exchange between the lift and other devices or smart applications. By connecting lifts to the Internet, it will soon be possible to develop better maintenance e-services. Companies can easily monitor a smart lift and switch their core service from ‘fixing a problem after a fault’ to ‘predictive maintenance’ – with clear safety and efficiency advantages. Each lift owner will also be able to provide extra and customised features in lifts, by exchanging data with other devices. This solution could help lift SMEs keep pace with the big companies and maintain their competitiveness in this market. More information

SBS adds new sectoral approach: protective equipment and textile care standards

SBS is pleased to announce a new sectoral approach, with a view to better understanding and meeting the standardisation needs of SMEs that manufacture, distribute and maintain Personal Protective Equipment. PPE includes products for users to wear or hold when protecting themselves against hazards at home, work or during leisure activities. Also, part of this sectoral approach are hygiene and sterilisation services for medical devices such as reusable garments or textiles.
In extending its sectoral approach like this, SBS brings together two important players with which it already collaborates: the German Textile Care Association (DTV) and SME Safety, the European association of SMEs that manufacture safety products. The two associations will regularly engage with SBS to provide the community with information about standardisation activities and regulatory updates in PPE and Textile Care. A European workshop on this topic will be organised on 7 November 2018 in Brussels.


CEN-CENELEC’s video promoting standardisation for SMEs


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.