Federal Government's new standardization policy

DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, welcomes the German Federal Government's "Standardization Policy Concept" ("Normungspolitisches Konzept") approved by the Cabinet today. "The Concept is the Federal Government's logical extension of the German Standardization Strategy. The Strategy was developed by DIN together with representatives from industry, science and the state, and presents standardization as a means of strengthening the economy and society as a whole," says Dr. Torsten Bahke, Director of DIN.

The Government's Concept coordinates its standardization policies and sets the following goals:

  • Support standardization in order to strengthen Germany's competitive ability and sustainability
    Use standardization (formal and informal) to implement innovations and research results
    Facilitate and accelerate legislation
  • Promote means of informing interested parties and enhancing their opportunities to participate and exert influence
  • Increase the use of standards in public procurement procedures

In its Concept, the Federal Government stresses standardization's significant role in the functioning of the European Single Market and global trade. According to this document "norms and standards can contribute greatly to opening markets, the transfer of technology, and the deregulation of technical legislation."

In addition to the Government's standardization aims and measures for their implementation in each governmental department, the "Standardization Policy Concept" also describes what the Federal Government expects from the standards organizations and experts:

  • Suitable structures for avoiding duplication of work
  • Appropriate composition of standards committees
  • Removal of all barriers to participation in standardization and the referencing and application of standards
  • Improved standards collections
  • Efficient financing of standards work
  • Increased awareness and knowledge of standards
  • Improved connection between standardization and research
  • Transparent procedures for dealing with industrial property rights

At the same time, this paper discusses the challenges facing standards developers. Globalization, technological convergence, and the increasing complexity of cross-sectoral topics are placing high demands on the organization and management of standards work.

"We are aware of the increased demands being placed on standardization in general and DIN specifically,“ says Dr. Bahke. By implementing the German Standardization Strategy, DIN has already reaped results which are suitable for meeting the expectations formulated in the Government's Concept. Dr. Bahke confirms that "we will continue to pursue this path." In fact, a number of measures have already been introduced to strengthen DIN's orientation as a service provider, further improve the quality of its products and services, and implement a new transparent financing concept. Over the past few months several new services have been added which will help involve all stakeholders in standardization and support small- and medium-sized businesses, who tend to be highly innovative. The online availability of tables of contents of standards, the free online portal for accessing draft standards, and the virtual meeting platform are all means of reducing costs for all those who have a stake in standardization.