Innovation is widely recognized as a key element for competitiveness and economic growth. In an ever increasingly competitive world economy, success is  being determined by businesses’ and societies’ ability 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 on standardisation and innovation' in relation to the European Commission Communication COM(2008)133 'Towards an increased contribution from standardization to innovation in Europe' (pdf format).

CEN and CENELEC also understand the importance of innovation in the modern economy, and thus promote standardization as a means to supporting European innovation. Standards play a major role in promoting innovative products and services by facilitating access to market, reducing costs, enabling interoperability between new and existing products, services and processes, creating large scale markets, building confidence among consumers and disseminating research results.

CEN-CENELEC activities

The CEN-CENELEC Management Centre has established an Innovation Directorate in order to promote standardization and its benefits to those sectors and markets that do not use it today. This includes assisting stakeholders with new standardization activities, wherever relevant. That assistance also extends, case by case, to research proposals including a standardization element.

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 gives strategic advice to the two Technical Boards in order to reach an integrated approach and develop the links between research, 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 concerning our strategic approach to innovation as a policy issue can be found on the 'Business development' pages and on the CEN-CENELEC website.

If you have not found the information you were looking for, or if you want to learn more on:

  • how standards can support R&D and innovation
  • why you should integrate standardization in your research (Horizon 2020) and innovation project;
  • what services we offer,

please contact our Research Helpdesk. All requests will be treated with strict confidentiality.