Newsletter – Issue 1 – 2019

Newsletter – Issue 1 – 2019

SBS-WIPO seminar explores alternative dispute resolution

On 22 January, SBS, together with the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, held a seminar on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. The seminar aimed to present the potential benefits of mediation and arbitration tools, as well as reasons why these tools are still insufficiently used. It also showcased several practical examples of SMEs applying ADR mechanisms.

Participants agreed that ADR offers swifter and less costly dispute resolution for SMEs, compared for example to litigation, and acknowledged they should be made more aware of this mechanism. However, it was also agreed that such disputes can be reduced overall by increasing transparency and moving towards a balanced approach, in terms of standardisation and standard-essential patent considerations.

SBS experts in Brussels: the time has come for training, policy developments updates and networking

On 6 and 7 February 2019, the first experts’ meeting of the year took place in Brussels. It brought together SBS experts on a variety of topics from across Europe.

The first day was devoted to the training of the new experts, appointed to represent SMEs in the standards development process in 2019. On that occasion, newly appointed experts had the opportunity to meet the Secretariat and their fellow new experts, to obtain first hand explanations concerning the role of an SBS expert and what will be required from them during 2019. A speaker from CEN-CENELEC set out the formal rights of SBS experts in Technical Committees and Working Groups and an expert shared his experience of representing SBS at ISO level.

The second day brought together new and experienced experts to be updated on internal developments in the management of experts, policy developments at European level (the recently published Communication on harmonised standards and the Joint Initiative on Standardisation), to exchange about their experience in representing SBS and to network.

The next SBS experts’ meeting will take place on 23 October 2019 in Brussels.

SBS Forum on ICT Standards for SMEs: Open Standards in ICT procurement

On 23 January, SBS organised its Forum on ICT Standards for SMEs. This year’s Forum concentrated on the benefits of open standards and the potential of these standards to make it easier for SMEs to access public procurement.

Invited speakers and members of the audience (representatives of the European Commission and other decision-makers, standardisation experts, plus representatives of municipal government and industry) engaged in fruitful discussions around an open table. As participants in procurement processes, they spoke about their perspectives and needs in this field.

The SBS Forum reached a consensus that standards are the key to bringing together different stakeholders’ interests. Moreover, it was agreed these standards benefit SMEs participating in public procurement as well as procurers, while also being in the public interest. However, participants concluded it is urgent to further raise general awareness of standards among businesses and local authorities, so that they can effectively apply them.

SBS adopts a public position on proposal for European Cybersecurity Competence Centres

SBS has published its position paper on the European Commission’s proposal to create a European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and a Network of National Coordination Centres. The Commission’s initiative should help to create an inter-connected, Europe-wide cybersecurity industrial and research ecosystem, which would be a stimulating environment for digital SMEs.

The SBS position paper offers an overview of standardisation-related measures that, if adopted and well implemented, would contribute to the effective functioning of this new European cybersecurity ecosystem.

SBS Lift Forum on “Lifts reaching the cloud”

On 18 December 2018, SBS organised its second edition of the Lift Forum in Brussels. The topic was digitalisation, and how this global trend is creating opportunities and challenges for the SMEs whose interests are defended and supported by SBS and its members.

Speakers and guests included delegates from the European Commission, from SBS and SMEunited, plus experts from the lift sector itself, national stakeholders, and members of different sectoral associations. Their discussion was on very specific technical subjects, as well as topics more related to the European context as well as policies on digitalisation and standardisation. Participants then went into greater detail, with examples designed to explain some of the national contexts for lifts and digital technology.

The forum allowed the speakers and audience to successfully focus on digitalisation. It confirmed the importance of this topic for all actors in the lift sector, be they national stakeholders, experts or European Commission representatives.

For more information, visit the EFESME website here and here.


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.