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New 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' gives small and medium-sized businesses access to information on standards and standardization in Europe

Date

19 Oct 2012

Sections

Trade & Society
Innovation & Enterprise

The European Standardization Committees CEN and CENELEC have launched a new section on their website as part of their ongoing efforts to promote the use of standards by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and facilitate the active participation of SMEs in standardization. The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' makes it easier for SMEs to access information about standards, and find out how they can get involved in contributing to the development of new standards.

The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' has been developed by CEN and CENELEC on the basis of discussions with their members across Europe and in close cooperation with NORMAPME, which represents the interests of SMEs in the European Standardization System.

The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' was presented at a launch event, which was held at the CEN-CENELEC Meeting Centre in Brussels on 17 October. This event was organised in the framework of the European SME Week, and was attended by representatives of SMEs, SME organisations, industry federations, business consultants, the European Commission, societal stakeholders, regional governments, and members of CEN and CENELEC.

The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' is designed to take visitors on a journey into the world of standards and standardization. The Toolbox covers the benefits of standards, how to find the right standards, and where to obtain relevant information. It also invites SMEs to consider getting involved in standardization activities, and outlines the ways in which they can influence the development and revision of standards at national, European and international levels. Increasingly this can be done via the internet, using online tools.

CEN and CENELEC members are being encouraged to make more information available to SMEs at national level, for example by developing and improving the information they publish on their own websites, using the European SME Toolbox as a model.

Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, said: "We know that successful SMEs are vital for the European economy. But unfortunately, many SMEs are not fully aware of how standards can help them to be more successful. By using the right European Standards, companies can make sure that their products and services correspond with their customers’ needs and that they also comply with EU legislation. They can then sell their products and services throughout the whole of the Single Market, which gives them access to a potential market of more than 500 million consumers."

The full version of this press release can be found on the CEN-CENELEC website:
http://www.cencenelec.eu/News/Press_Releases/Pages/PR-2012-17.aspx

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Notes

The 'SME Toolbox of Solutions' can be found (under 'SME and Standards') in the SME section of the CEN-CENELEC website: www.cencenelec.eu/sme/std

The European SME Week is an initiative of the European Commission (Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry): http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/initiatives/sme-week

NORMAPME is the "European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardisation". NORMAPME is exclusively devoted to the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises in the European standardization system. Its members represent over 12 million enterprises in all European countries, including all European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states.

NORMAPME participates in the structures and activities of CEN and CENELEC. It is recognised as an 'Associate' of CEN and as a 'Cooperating Partner' of CENELEC.

For more information please see: www.normapme.eu

About CEN and CENELEC

CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) are officially recognised organisations responsible for developing and defining standards at European level. These standards set out specifications and procedures in relation to a wide range of products and services, thereby facilitating commerce and industry throughout the European Single Market.

The members of CEN and CENELEC are the National Standards Bodies and National Electrotechnical Committees of 33 European countries including all of the EU member states plus three EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and three EU candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

European Standards (ENs) are developed through a process of collaboration among experts nominated by business and industry, research institutes, consumer and environmental organisations and other societal stakeholders. These standards are accepted and recognised throughout all of the countries covered by CEN and CENELEC members.

CEN and CENELEC are working to promote the international harmonisation of standards in the framework of technical cooperation agreements with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

For more information please see: www.cencenelec.eu

Media contact:

Ben Carlin

Communication Unit

CEN-CENELEC Management Centre

T: +32 2 550 08 32

bcarlin@cencenelec.eu

Twitter: @CENCLCpress