In response to the coronavirus emergency, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), have all agreed to make freely available a series of European, American and International Standards for use in response to COVID-19.
To further support this initiative, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and SAI Global have developed the COVID-19 Response Package which will provide access at no cost to organisations involved in the fight against COVID-19. The response package includes a series of Irish, American, European and International Standards for medical devices and personal protective equipment.
Geraldine Larkin, CEO of the NSAI said:
“The world’s major standardisation organisations have been encouraging manufacturers to increase and diversify production, building on positive examples such as textile and shoe manufacturers starting to produce masks and gowns. NSAI are honoured to stand in solidarity with this initiative, making freely available the standards which will enable companies to produce face masks and other protective equipment.”
The suite of standards (listed here) cover common filtering masks, medical gloves and protective clothing. They can be viewed via i2i, a secure cloud-based platform, and at Standards.ie.
By providing free access to these standards, it will assist both EU and third-country companies which, are reconverting their production lines to quickly manufacture these critical items assisting in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The use of these standards will enable companies that adopt them, easier access to the market for such fundamental medical and protection equipment, thus providing those in need with essential medical equipment.
Normally, standards must be purchased and used in line with the intellectual property right rules, as the copyright of the standards lies with the organisations, which have developed the standards. The derogation from this business model is a strong international response, based on a sense of social responsibility and solidarity, to address the shortage problem of protective equipment deriving from the Covid-19 epidemics.
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