Living Standards Award 2021: Between quantum mechanics, plastic avoidance, Ethernet and precision surgery

  • Announcement

On 21 January, the seventh Living Standards Award was presented in Vienna. This year, the important award showcased projects focusing on quantum mechanics, plastic avoidance, fast Ethernet and tools raising precision in surgery. Austrian winners: AQT (Alpine Quantum Technologies), BHS Technologies, cortEXplore, Purency GmbH and TTTech Group.


Copyright: ASI/Jelinek

Around 300 representatives of business, science and politics attended the virtual presentation ceremony of the Living Standards Award on 21 January. Since 2015, this Award has aimed at raising the visibility of frequently hidden success stories about the development and application of standards. Finally, 15 submissions made it to the short list and five nominees were able to take home the trophy.

Four Award categories: Solutions, improvements and innovations thanks to standardization

From an idea to the world market: Standards frequently work behind the scenes to ensure the quality and safety of products and services in everyday life. It is, however, these practice-oriented recommendations that turn innovative ideas into exportable solutions and well-functioning technologies of the future. Around 4,500 experts are currently collaborating in thematic networks in standardization in Austria. The Living Standards Award is dedicated to enterprises, organizations, research institutions and start-ups using standards to enable new solutions for improving our quality of work and life (Enabling Solutions), to open up foreign (Reaching International Markets), developing new technologies (Developing Future Technologies) or deploying innovative electrotechnical standards (IEEE Standards).

Living Standards Award: Winners 2021

CATEGORY "Enabling Solutions": 3D simulations for delicate neurosurgery

cortEXplore, founded in 2018, develops neurosurgical navigation systems for precisely planning, simulating and implementing brain surgery. The start-up receives the Award for developing a special positioning system allowing surgeons to reach areas of the brain in a particularly precise way.
Benefits: Access to the target area of surgery can be better planned, risks for patients can be reduced and clinical outcomes can be improved. Standards have been important with regard to quality policy (EN ISO 13485) and risk management in product development (EN ISO 14971).

CATEGORY "Reaching International Markets": With a robotic arm in the operating theatre

A tool that surgeons can use without their hands in the operating theatre? The RoboticScope® of BHS Technologies is the first surgical microscope that decouples surgeons from static microscopes and makes them more mobile. By means of a robotic arm, the microscope automatically adjusts to the movements of the surgeon's head. Instruments do not have to be put down anymore when the microscope needs to be re-adjusted.
Benefits: Safe interventions thanks to optimized ergonomics for surgeons and a better overview during surgery. Standards play a crucial role in safeguarding patient safety. They make sure that "everybody plays by the same rules" and there are no unwelcome surprises in the design and production of medical products (ISO 13485) as well as risk management (ISO 1471) and the handling of medical or electrical equipment.

CATEGORY "Developing Future Technologies": Quantum computer goes electric kettle

For the start-up AQT standards play a major role, in particular, when it wants to find a "common language" with IT partners in technical respects (ISO/IEC WD 4879 "Information technology – Quantum computing"). AQT has specialized in developing ion-trap quantum computers and is the first European start-up to bring a quantum computer to the cloud. Building on more than 20 years of research at the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, AQT was able to implement a quantum computer based on industry standards.
Benefits: The computer does not need to be operated under laboratory conditions, fits into a cabinet and consumes as little energy as an electric kettle. Owing to its high computing performance, this technology can support the development of new drugs or materials with planned characteristics.

CATEGORY "Developing Future Technologies": Finding microplastics reliably and quickly

Purency GmbH makes microplastics visible. The solutions offered by the Viennese enterprise enable laboratories to perform scalable analyses of microplastics. The high-quality results minimize the need for manual processing. Thus, the time required for data analysis is reduced from hours to approximately ten minutes. Thereby, Purency GmbH creates the basis for reducing microplastics.
Benefits: Researchers can better assess health hazards and environmental impacts and enterprises can improve risk assessment and quality control, Since 2019, employees of Purency GmbH have taken part in international standardization – in ISO/TC 61/SC 14/WG 4 "Characterization of plastics leaked into the environment (including microplastics) and quality control criteria of respective methods".

CATEGORY "IEEE Standards": Research dedicated to Ethernet and independent standards

TTTech Group is the technology leader in the fields of safety controllers and real-time networks for industrial IoT, mobile machinery, autonomous driving as well as aerospace applications. Since 2003, the high-tech company has been involved in standardization activities and joined the working group IEEE 802.1 enabling automotive and industrial networks to use fast Ethernet technology in 2012.
Benefits: TTTech has input its know-how into the development of interoperable and vendor-independent technology standards. TTTech' collaboration in IEEE standardization activities is stronger than ever and contributes to key projects (IEEE P802.1Qcw, IEEE / IEC 60802, IEEE802.1DG).

Award winner videos

Mirjana Verena Mully, Head of Communications

Mirjana Verena Mully

Head of Communications