Yesterday, the Living Standards Awards were presented to the winners at Austrian Standards. Since 2015, the Award has pursued the objective of making visible the frequently hidden success stories linked with the development and application of standards. More than 200 participants from business, science, policy-making, start-ups and administration attended the virtual ceremony. More than 30 submissions demonstrated not only the unwavering innovativeness of Austria but also illustrated the – frequently unnoticed – role that standards play here.
The new CEO of Austrian Standards, Dr. Valerie Höllinger, enthused: “I am delighted about the new projects and ideas. The challenges of the future call for smart solutions and need brilliant minds – as we just have seen, both can be found in standardization. Standards can drive innovation and improve our everyday lives. Therefore I want to encourage especially start-up companies to take greater advantage of the valuable contribution that standards can make to their business.”
DDr. Anton Ofner, who only took office as the President of Austrian Standards International last September, also emphasized the value of standards: “From my experiences as an entrepreneur, I am highly familiar with the practical benefits of standards. They help not only cutting costs and development times but also provide vital inputs ensuring that products are not developed out of tune with market needs. From my point of view, Austrian researchers and businesspeople would be well-advised to engage even more in standardization.”
The outstanding achievements of the Living Standards Award winners were also commended by Minister for the Environment, Leonore Gewessler. In her message of congratulations, she highlighted the importance of standards for Austria’s economy and their contribution to accomplishing a breakthrough for future-oriented solutions. “Standards set environmental standards,” stated Gewessler.
Key role of standards – focus on innovative solutions, reaching international markets and future technologies
Standards are created on the basis of the practical know-how of experts. In Austria alone, around 4,450 specialists are involved in the development of standards. The objective of the Living Standards Award is to shine the spotlight on the outstanding achievements going hand in hand with standards. This year the Award was presented in the categories “Developing Future Technology”, “Reaching International Markets”, “Enabling Solutions” and “IEEE Standards”. Overall, 16 submissions made it to the shortlist and five of them were rewarded with the grand prize.
Living Standards Award 2022 – the winners
Category “Developing Future Technology”: Easy-to-use smart glasses based on eye tracking
Controlling smart glasses with your eyes? With Digital Iris Inside – an all-in-one module series –, Vienna-based Viewpointsystem GmbH offers standardized ready-to-use eye-tracking technology for the first time. The first miniaturized eye sensor module ESM 22 is designed as a snap-in nose pad. It can be integrated into existing glasses (virtual and augmented reality) so that it is almost invisible. This opens up new, intuitive and more user-friendly control modes for smart glasses.
Benefits: The smart glasses are to facilitate remote collaboration. Thus, a person can instruct another user located thousands of miles away during sensitive tasks and work steps or guide them on the basis of the eye data received. Thanks to eye tracking, you can see what the users of the smart glasses focuses on and which information they need. A great number of safety standards were taken into account during the development of this product, for example EN 166 on personal eye protection and the eye safety standard IEC 62471 for LEDs.
Category “Reaching International Markets”: Continuous non-invasive monitoring of blood pressure
In intensive care units or during emergency surgery, it may be necessary to monitor the patient's blood pressure by means of continuous invasive measurements in an artery. This method is complicated, entails the risk of infections and is very painful. CNSystems Medizintechnik GmbH realized the medical challenge of continuous non-invasive measurements of blood pressure a long time ago. “Non-invasive” means that no needles or tubes need to be inserted into the body and that the monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of patients can be improved. For its crucial contributions to the development of the international standard ISO 81060-3 "Continuous non-invasive sphygmomanometers", CNSystems Medizintechnik GmbH now received the Living Standards Award.
Benefits: The standard improves not only the testing of medical devices. It also paves the way for introducing new methods and criteria that make it possible to check and assess the performance of continuous non-invasive sphygmomanometers. This reduces complications significantly and shortens hospital stays for patients.
Category “Enabling Solutions”: Medical product tests without suffering for animals
Bye-bye animal testing? In the Biorelation project, the Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (OFI), member of Austrian Cooperative Research (ACR), aimed at developing a validated in-vitro screening method for assessing the sensitizing or irritating properties of medical products. The new method is now also included as a recognized alternative to animal testing in ISO 10993.
Benefits: Thanks to the in-vitro (meaning "in the glass") method, animal tests do not need to be performed anymore. Instead, Dr. Elisabeth Mertl and her team use cell models to test products for skin irritation and skin sensitization in the lab. As these tests can already be carried out in an earlier stage of product development, they support product optimization and are faster than animal tests. Among others, the Biorelation project contributed to the further development of the international standard ISO 10993 "Biological evaluation of medical devices". The test methods developed are specified as a recognized alternative to animal testing in the new ISO standard.
Category “Developing Future Technology”: Consistent calculation of the recyclable share of recovered fuels
Energy and raw materials from waste? In the ReWaste4.0 project, Montanuniversität Leoben developed a method for calculating the recyclable share of recovered fuels in co-operation with the cement industry and recovered fuel producers. The source material: waste, or more precisely, mixed household and commercial waste. The research results obtained by the university lead to the development of a new international standard for recycling recovered fuels in co-processing.
Just a brief explanation: Co-processing uses recovered waste fuels as a raw material and, at the same time, as an energy source in order to replace natural resources and fossil fuels, such as coal, in industrial processes. The document co-developed by Montanuniversität Leoben - ISO/AWI 4349 "Solid recovered fuels – Determination of the recycling index for co-processing" - is to be published in 2024.
Benefits: The standard helps calculate the percentage of recovered fuels that can be recycled. The lays the foundation for the possible recognition of the recyclable share of recovered fuels in co-processing by the European Union and its consideration in the recycling targets laid down in the EU’s circular economy package. As a result, greenhouse gases can be reduced, waste can be used more efficiently, costs can be cut, regional value creation chains can be optimized and sustainable cement production can be promoted.
Category “IEEE Standards”: Telemonitoring episode report for disease management programmes in healthcare
By introducing the "telemonitoring episode report", ELGA GmbH has revolutionized the way in which data are used in telehealth systems. Patients can now input their own data, such as weight, blood glucose, blood pressure and medication use, via existing systems, e.g. HerzMobil for patients suffering from cardiac insufficiency, and save them to their ELGA health record. The report creates a new interface in the Austrian eHealth environment. Its implementation was facilitated, for example, by the standards series IEEE 11073 "Service-Oriented Device Connectivity".
Benefits: The report improves, for example, disease management programmes for chronically ill patients. Health service providers can access health data centrally, and patients enjoy full transparency of their ELGA data. ELGA GmbH and the partners in this project won the Award in the partner category “IEEE Standards”. Having more than 400,000 members, IEEE is the biggest professional organization of electrical and electronics engineers worldwide.
Photos for downloading
Caption of the group photo: The winners of the Living Standards Award 2022: CNSystems Medizintechnik GmbH, Elektronische Gesundheitsakte (ELGA), Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (OFI), Montanuniversität Leoben and Viewpointsystem with DDr. Anton Ofner, President of Austrian Standards.
© Inge Funke