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Research & Innovation

European Commission | Directorate General for Research & Innovation

Why standards for Research and Innovation?

Most people are aware of standards for building materials, paper size (A4), optical media (DVD), mobile telephones (GSM) etc. These standards are agreed definitions or specifications of units, methods, products, processes or services. They provide people and organizations with the basis for mutual understanding and are used as tools to facilitate communication, measurements, commerce and manufacturing.

There are many thousands of standards of various types. Standards can be categorized into 4 major types:

1. Fundamental standards - which concern terminology, conventions, signs and symbols, etc.

2. Test methods and analysis standards - which measure characteristics such as temperature and chemical composition

3. Specification standards - which define characteristics of a product (product standards), or a service (service activities standards) and their performance thresholds such as fitness for use, interface and interoperability, health and safety, environmental protection, etc

4. Organisation standards - which describe the functions and relationships of a company, as well as elements such as quality management and assurance, maintenance, value analysis, logistics, project or system management, production management etc.

Standards and FP7

In the past years the role of standardization as a bridge between research activities and the market has been increasingly recognized, both by EU institutions and by R&D stakeholders. As a consequence, more and more calls under FP7 (the EU programme for research) asked project proposers to address standardization.

In the EU calls for research and innovation (FP7), standardization is identified as a key activity, deliverable or expected outcome for the future project.

The next EU programme for R&D, Horizon 2020 , will focus, not only on R&D, but also on innovation. Standardization is identified in the proposal for Horizon 2020 as one of the measures which will support the “market take-up of innovation”.

NSAI as the National Standards Body in Ireland is the gateway to standard development. As a member of the European and international Standard Development Organizations (SDO) such as CEN,CENELEC, ETSI, ISO, IEC, NSAI has access to the current "state of the art" with respect to standard development. Research groups interested in finding out more about standards or who wish to make a standard development proposal should contact:

Ms.Linda Hendy

The launch of Horizon 2020 in Ireland is being hosted by Enterprise Ireland on December 10th – see link below for more information

Horizon 2020: Experts wanted for biggest EU research programme yet

EU Commission press release – November 22, 2013.

Following the recent adoption of Horizon 2020 by the European Parliament, the European Commission launched a new call for independent experts . Experts are needed to evaluate proposals for EU funding and for other activities such as monitoring, programme evaluation and policy development.

Interested candidates are invited to file their application online as soon as possible in preparation for the first project proposal evaluations, which will start in 2014.

See link below for more information.

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