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Strengthening the involvement of SMEs in European Standardization - SMEST2 project has started

Date

03 Mar 2011

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise

Given the continuing and growing importance of SMEs in European Standardization, CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and the National Standards Bodies of Austria (ASI), Germany (DIN) and the Netherlands (NEN) and NORMAPME (European Office of Craft/Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardisation) jointly started the SME Standardization Toolkit (SMEST2) project.

The objective of SMEST2 is to further strengthen and promote the links between SMEs and standardization in terms of awareness of standardization, information on standardization, participation in standardization.

The SMEST2 project is financed by the European Commission. It will complement the specific actions undertaken by CEN and CENELEC members to implement the findings of the SME Access Study at European level, by offering guidance and practical support. More specifically, it aims at providing an effective and broadly supported dynamic website. On this website, knowledge, information, best practices and experiences can be shared. An important part of the second project will be an improved version of the SME Standardization Toolkit, developed during SMEST1.

Starting point of the new project is an evaluation of SMEST 1. CEN and CENELEC members, who were involved and trained in the first SMEST project, are asked to give their input on how to improve the SME Standardization Toolkit. Additionally, the cooperation between National Standards Bodies, national SME associations and SMEs will be assessed. The project will finish with 2-day workshops in countries that have not been part of SMEST 1 and a closing conference in Brussels in 2013.

Detailed information on the SMEST 2 project and the interactive website, with the improved SME Standardization Toolkit, will be made available via the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre web portal currently under preparation.

Background

Small businesses play a central role in the European economy. They represent 95% of the business in Europe and provide 55% of the total jobs in the private sector. Standards, within the European market, have played an essential role in the building of the internal market, allowing both manufacturers and consumers to benefit from the elimination of technical barriers to trade while fulfilling the essential safety requirements that standardization has always guaranteed. Adequate stakeholder participation is essential to the European standardization process. However, the representation of SMEs in European standardization is often considered insufficient.

Information
Mr. Jappe van der Zwan - e-mail: jappe.vanderzwan@nen.nl

Ms. Andreea Gulacsi - e-mail agulacsi@cencenelec.eu

About CEN

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a business catalyst in Europe, removing trade barriers for European stakeholders such as industry, public administration, service providers, consumers and other stakeholders. Its mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens, and the environment. Through its services, CEN provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other specifications.

CEN’s 31 National Members work together to develop voluntary European Standards (ENs) in various sectors to build a European Internal Market for goods and services and to position Europe in the global economy. By supporting research, and helping disseminate innovation, standards are a powerful tool for economic growth. More than 60.000 technical experts as well as business federations, consumer and other societal interest organizations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 480 million people. For further information, please visit: www.cen.eu

About CENELEC

The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization is officially responsible for standardization in the electrotechnical field. In an ever more global economy, CENELEC fosters innovation and competitiveness, making technology available not only to major businesses but also to SMEs through the production of voluntary standards. CENELEC creates market access at the European level but also at the international level through its cooperation agreement with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Through the work of its 31 Members together with its experts, the industry federations and consumers, Electrotechnical European Standards are created in order to help shape the European Internal Market, to encourage technological development, to ensure interoperability and to guarantee the safety and health of consumers and provide environmental protection. Detailed information available at www.cenelec.eu

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