Horizon 2020: CEN and CENELEC offer advice on how to link research and innovation projects with relevant standardization activities


16 Dec 2013


Innovation & Enterprise

Press release

Brussels, 13 December 2013 - The European Standardization Committees CEN and CENELEC are actively looking for opportunities to establish links between European research and innovation projects and relevant standardization activities. To this end, CEN and CENELEC together with their members in 33 countries are offering advice and support to organizations and consortia that are preparing proposals for projects to be co-financed through the European Union’s 'Horizon 2020' Programme.

This week (on 11 December), the European Commission launched the first calls for proposals under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new multi-annual programme for research, development and innovation - with a total budget of some €80 billion over seven years. The calls under the 2014 budget will support priorities in all three pillars of Horizon 2020: Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges.

In the first wave of calls under Horizon 2020, the European Commission focuses on 12 priority areas: Personalising health and care, Sustainable food security, Blue growth, Digital security, Smart cities and communities, Low-carbon energy, Energy efficiency, Mobility, Waste, Water, 'Overcoming the crisis' and Disaster-resilience. CEN and CENELEC are currently working on standardization topics that are relevant to all of these areas.

Standards can codify and disseminate the results of research, development and innovation activities, thereby helping to bridge the gap between research and the market. A study* carried out for CEN and CENELEC earlier this year, showed that linking-up with standardization activities can bring positive benefits for European research and development projects, notably in terms of improving the dissemination of results.

Welcoming the launch of the first calls for proposals under Horizon 2020, Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, said: "We know from experience that standards are excellent tools for bringing new ideas and new technologies to market. Horizon 2020 provides us with new opportunities to show how standards can help to support innovation, deliver benefits to society, and boost Europe’s economic competitiveness."

Together with their national members in 33 countries, CEN and CENELEC are ready to work with project proposers to help them establish links between their (potential) projects and standardization. In certain cases, this could mean contributing to standardization activities that are already underway, for example by establishing a liaison with one of the Technical Committees in CEN or CENELEC. In some other cases it might mean starting a completely new activity, for example by setting up a new CEN or CENELEC Workshop and inviting other interested parties to contribute their ideas and inputs.

* In 2012, CEN and CENELEC asked the Technopolis research consultancy to carry out a study in order to investigate the links between standardization and innovation in European research projects. The study focused on research projects carried out during the period 2002-2012, which were supported by the European Union’s 6th and 7th Framework Programmes (FP6 and FP7). A survey was carried out from April to June 2013, which succeeded in collecting information about 1162 individual projects.

The study found that around one third of European research projects (supported by FP6 and FP7) had made use of standards or addressed standardization in some other way. Up to one in eight projects involved or led to proposals for new or revised standards (including suggestions for improvements to existing standards). Up to one in twelve projects have contributed directly to the development of new or revised standards.

The study identified a wide range of benefits for projects that contributed to standardization. For example, more than 80% of projects having proposed or developed new standards declared that standards improved dissemination of their research results. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of project coordinators who had included standards in their previous projects said they would be willing to address standardization again in their future projects.

Based on the responses to the survey, six European research projects were identified as 'success stories' in which standardization played a key role. Further information was collected about these projects, in the fields of energy, environment, security, transport, ICT and advanced manufacturing. Four of the six selected projects contributed to standardization through the development of CEN or CENELEC Workshop Agreements (CWAs).

More information about the research study and the success stories may be found on the CEN-CENELEC website: www.cencenelec.eu/research/SuccessStories/Pages/default.aspx

For more general information about the Horizon 2020 Programme, please see the Horizon 2020 website: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en

For more information about specific calls for proposals, please see the participant portal: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/index.html

For more information on how standardization is relevant for Horizon 2020, please see the CEN-CENELEC website: www.cencenelec.eu/research/Horizon2020/Pages/default.aspx

Project proposers who wish to find out more about how to connect with standardization may contact the CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk (research@cencenelec.eu) (in English).

Advice and support is also available (in all national languages) from the national members of CEN and CENELEC, most of which have set up dedicated Research Helpdesks. For contact details see: www.cencenelec.eu/research/ResearchHelpdesk/Pages/default.aspx

Read the full press release (pdf version)


Media contact

Ben Carlin
Communication Unit
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre
T: +32 2 550 08 32
Twitter: @CENCLCpress