Innovation is widely recognized as a key element for competitiveness and economic growth. In an evermore competitive world economy, success is increasingly being determined by the ability of businesses and societies to be innovative.
Innovation and the role of standardization
The importance and role of standardization in relation to innovation is recognized by the Council Conclusions in relation to the European Commission Communication (COM(2008)133) 'Towards an increased contribution from standardization to innovation in Europe'.
CEN and CENELEC consider innovation as a key objective as well, promoting standardization as a mean to support a culture of innovation in Europe. Standards play a major role in promoting innovative products and services by facilitating access to markets, reducing costs, enabling interoperability between new and existing products, services and processes, creating large scale markets, building confidence among consumers and disseminating research results.
The CEN-CENELEC Management Centre has established an Innovation Directorate in order to promote standardization and its benefits in those sectors and markets that do not use it today. This includes assistance to stakeholders for starting new standardization activities, where relevant. That assistance also extends, case by case, to research proposals encompassing a standardization packages.
Moreover, the CEN and CENELEC Technical Boards agreed in October 2008 on the creation of a joint strategic Working Group to address Standardization, Innovation and Research (STAIR). CEN-CENELEC STAIR will give strategic advice to the two Technical Boards in order to reach an integrated approach and develop the links between research and innovation and standardization.
In November 2008 a CEN Technical Committee, CEN/TC 389 'Innovation Management' was also created in order to provide organizations with tools, in the form of standardization documents, to ensure a more systematic approach to innovation and optimize the planning and management of all aspects fostering their innovation capabilities.
Further information on this concerning our strategic approach to innovation as a policy issue can be found on the 'Business development' pages.