Standards for societal challenges and technological developments

On the occasion of StandarDays last April, a CEN-CENELEC event dedicated to discovering the world of European standards, the Commission’s Joint Research Center presented its newly published foresight study on the role of standards in bolstering new production and distribution systems in 2025.

ECOS contributed actively to the drafting of the 18-month foresight study, which, based on expert workshops, sketches an industrial landscape vision for standardisation, identifying new needs for standards in a deeply altered technological and societal context.

Five priority areas are identified for the development of upgraded standards:

  • Standards for integration – to cope with converging technologies and new infrastructures;
  • Standards for environmental sustainability – needed to promote energy efficiency, and a true circular economy;
  • Standards for quality and performance – to address more demanding needs from consumers;
  • service standards – to develop simple methodologies for high-quality services, and facilitate comparability;
  • ‘De-risking’ standards – to reduce risks associated with innovative solutions in the fields of health and safety, security and privacy, and environmental protection.

Accelerated and more integrated standardisation work in these areas is presented as paramount to keep pace with the technological developments and societal challenges of an ever-more globalised economy which is increasingly relying on competition and innovation.

Conclusions suggest to use a ‘foresight template’ to anticipate and distinguish standardisation needs, thereby safeguarding reliable and environmental friendly production and consumption systems in Europe and beyond.

The JRC foresight study is available here