What is standardisation?
Standardisation is a consensus-based process leading to a voluntary agreement between experts. This process is developed in the framework of standardisation organisations, such as national standardisation bodies, CEN or ISO, whose work consists in managing and promoting the development of standards.
Standardisation is an activity that is more and more valued as part of research and innovation projects, since it is a useful tool to disseminate results to the industry, society and public administrations. It also enables interoperability and compatibility of innovative solutions with existing products, services or processes, and facilitates trade by reducing technical barriers. Standards generate trust, since they ensure that a product, service or system complies with expectations and requirements of the market or public procurement.
Standardisation in FormPlanet Test Bed
UNE, the Spanish standardisation organisation, is leading the activities related with standards in FormPlanet. UNE’s main objective is to increase the visibility and impact of the project, as well as to contribute to the acceptance and utilisation by the market of the developed solutions. It is also expected that the standardisation activities are the way to ensure the quality and to generate confidence among the future users of the FormPlanet test bed services and related metallic products.
The first standardisation activity already performed corresponds to a report analysing the current standardisation landscape. This has provided the consortium with a clear image of the existing standards and standardisation technical committees that have a relationship with the project, in order to identify applicable standards to the different partners’ tasks and possible standardisation stakeholders during the project. In this report they have been also identified those standards that are currently being used by the partners and some possible standardisation gaps.
Continuous communication with standardisation technical committees
Direct communication with relevant standardisation technical committees has also begun, with the objective of disseminating the project findings and results by using the standardisation system as a fast and focused dissemination tool to the market stakeholders. General information on the project has been already shared and information on the project results is periodically transmitted.
It is also expected to begin an interaction with some identified standardisation technical committees and to establish a bidirectional relationship, capturing their inputs for FormPlanet and contributing from the project to ongoing or future standardisation works.
That means that from the side of the consortium, standardisation proposals can be made, in order to improve existing standards or to develop new ones that could cover specific industry needs. The consortium will also develop standardisation documents (CWA) within the timeframe of the project, in order to increase the impact and visibility, as well as to provide trust to future test bed users, covering some developed test methods that will be part of the test bed services. These CWA will be able to be converted into standards in the future.
Towards establishing common standardisation practices with other European Test Beds
With respect the coordination of approach of standardisation among Test Beds, UNE’s participation in CEN/CENELEC STAIR will facilitate the coordination between the different European Test Beds. FormPlanet will vow for organizing periodical meetings, joint events, etc., in order to set a common approach to standardization from all Test Beds initiatives, which can shift coherence and avoid repetition of efforts. Finally, a standardisation guidance document for Test Bed users will be developed with the aim of providing information, guidance and motivation for using standards and standardisation to future Test Bed users.
As a conclusion, it can be said that the standardisation activities in FormPlanet, in which all partners are involved, are helping the project in different ways. By means of the standardisation system knowledge, it is being assured compatibility with existing standards, and giving the opportunity to develop new ones according the project needs. Through the interaction with the technical committees, FormPlanet is boosting its knowledge by the market, seeding possible future opportunities of collaboration or test bed users. Standardisation is a tool for increasing the impact of FormPlanet.
Architect and Building Engineer (Technical University of Madrid), Master degree on Engineering applied to Cooperation (Open University of Catalonia). Currently programme manager at the Spanish Association for Standardisation (UNE), where he provides support to national and European technical committees for the development of standards related to construction products, managing several secretariats, and providing expertise to international cooperation projects.