Determining if your project should cooperate with standards bodies can be especially challenging when consortium partners are not already active in standardisation activities. Partners in project consortia comprised of smaller or regional organisations may not have resources to regularly participate in standards activities. Identifying areas for possible cooperation with standards bodies should be done early, best at the proposal stage of the project, but certainly not later than during negotiations of the project contract with the European Commission. The approach that is recommended is to use a structured analysis of the project outputs.
The structured analysis is organised according to the set of work packages within the project. The work packages represent a logical grouping of tasks and each work package normally will have one or more deliverables. Some deliverables will be for formal submission to the European Commission for approval, while others are outputs from the work package used by the project partners, or as inputs to other work packages. The first step is to identify for each work package what are all of the outputs. Then, for each output, ask the following questions:
1. Does the output rely on an existing standard?
2. Will the output be exploited by organisations already using standards for their products or services?
3. If an industry standard changed, would the output need to be modified?
4. Is the output a basis for commercial companies to develop new products or services
5. Does the output need to be used consistently by industry for the project to deliver expected benefits?
6. Is the output intended to encourage many other organisations to create compatible technologies?
7. Will products from multiple suppliers utilise the output?
8. Is the output essential for the correct operations of higher level features and capabilities?
9. Will the output fill a gap or address an area only partially covered by an existing standard?
If one or more answers to the above are affirmative for one of the outputs, then it is likely that some interactions with standards bodies should be planned within the project. The level of interaction will vary according to which of the questions were answered in the affirmative.
If the questions that were affirmative were in the bottom half of the list, then it is likely that contributions to standards will be an important element of the project if it is to achieve good results. Proactive participation and significant interactions with standards bodies will likely be required, and it is advisable to consider thinking about standardization in time. If the questions that were affirmative were in the top half, then it is likely that the project will mainly need to monitor activities of relevant standards bodies.
[Back to questions]