From a national standardization organization to a one-stop service provider for standards and innovation

Austrian Standards' General Assembly 2017: Internationalization and expanded networks

Vienna (AS prm, 30.06.2017)
Austrian Standards Annual Guide 2016/2017

The "Annual Guide 2016/2017" presented at the General Assembly provides insights into current activities

Austrian Standards - that is the one-stop service provider for standards and innovation today and not just the Austrian national standardization organization, as President Walter Barfuß stated at the General Assembly of the Austrian Standards Institute last Wednesday. This was signalled by an international network made up of organizations in 160 countries, standards covering an ever wider range of topics, a spectrum of customers extending from craftspeople to high-tech enterprises and a growing portfolio of tailoured services.

The numerous participants of the ordinary General Assembly of 28 June 2017 also included former EU agricultural commissioner Franz Fischler, chairman of the Honorary Board of Austrian Standards. The Honorary Board has advised Austrian Standards since 2016 and focuses on topics of the future beyond day-to-day policy-making, in particular on the significance of standards for the economy, science, policy-making and society.

Dialogue and intensified networking

The key milestones of 2016 and the first half of 2017 were, as President Barfuß explained - with the support of Vice-President Manfred Matzka and Director Elisabeth Stampfl-Blaha - the Austrian dialogue forum on construction and intensified networking with the IT and telecommunications sector. Prof. Barfuß: "The dialogue forum succeeded in bringing very vague complaints about 'construction norms' of any possible type that have been voiced for many years to the factual, technical level."

Proximity to the IT and telecommunications sector was increased by full membership in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the fact that the IEEE, an important player in the ecosystem of standardization, now has its European headquarters at Austrian Standards in Vienna. With its 320,000 members, the Institute is the world's biggest organization of electrical and electronics engineers.

In his keynote address held at the General Assembly, Hermann Brand, IEEE European Standards Affairs Director, stressed the importance of standards and co-operation among diverse standard developers in this field: "A smart phone alone incorporates hundreds of standards developed by different standardization organizations."

Great diversity is a characteristic of numerous new standards projects launched at the European and international level (CEN and ISO, respectively) in the past few months: from blockchains to energy management and energy saving and from funeral services to eco-design. These are identified in the "Annual Guide 2016/2017" presented at the General Assembly.

New members of the Presidential Council

Five new members of the Presidential Council were also presented to the General Assembly. these are:

The Presidential Council of Austrian Standards is the main consultative body on economic-policy and strategic issues.

Developing what will be needed tomorrow

Austrian Standards' President Barfuß considers that the most important challenge is "not merely to keep pace with the speed of change in the needs of our customers and partners but rather to read the signs of the times with foresight and continuously develop what will be needed tomorrow."


Online photo album

Austrian Standards international - connections in a multipolar world
Austrian Standards sets the course for IoT: full membership of ETSI and networking with IEEE, Fairhair Alliance and GSC – IoT expert congress in October 2017 Vienna
(AS prm, 25.04.2017)

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Cornelia Mayer

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