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Dialogue on Horizon 2020 highlights how standardization supports research and innovation in the EU


28 Feb 2012


EU Priorities 2020
Innovation & Enterprise

Brussels, 28 February 2012 - European standards organisations are actively contributing to the debate on the proposal for a future EU programme on research and innovation, Horizon 2020. They are engaging in dialogue with the EU institutions in order to highlight how standardization provides a bridge between research, innovation and the market, thereby strengthening competitiveness and boosting growth and jobs.

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) have sent a letter (on 27 February) to the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, in which they underline the contribution that standardization can make to the objectives of the Innovation Union in general, and the priorities of the Horizon 2020 programme in particular. This letter has been signed by Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC.

“Standards are a valuable tool for market dissemination of research and development results and can therefore contribute to the objectives of the Innovation Union and to the overall competitiveness of the European Union,” wrote Mrs Santiago Cid.

European standards organisations are convinced that standardization can contribute to all three key priorities of Horizon 2020: supporting ‘Excellent Science’ by facilitating collaborative research projects; promoting ‘Industrial Leadership’ by enabling the market uptake of innovative ideas; and addressing ‘Societal Challenges’ by providing a practical means of bringing best practices to the widest possible range of stakeholders.

CEN and CENELEC are calling on the European Commission to include standardization in the work programmes of Horizon 2020, and to mention opportunities for developing new standards in calls for proposals. This would make it more likely that research and innovation projects supported under the programme will integrate standardization activities, thereby increasing the potential for new ideas to gain market acceptance.

The Commission’s proposals for Horizon 2020 are being examined and discussed by Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Wishing to inform and influence these ongoing discussions, CEN and CENELEC organised a meeting in Brussels today (28 February) with several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including Christian Ehler and Maria Da Graça Carvalho, who are two of the MEPs in charge of preparing the Parliament’s response to the Commission’s proposals.

The meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels was an opportunity for constructive dialogue between MEPs and European standards organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI*), as well as representatives of the Danish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry, and the Joint Research Centre). The event was also attended by representatives of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), national standards organisations and various other stakeholders.


* ETSI is the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (

Read the full press release (pdf version)

Media contact

Ben Carlin

Communication Unit

CEN-CENELEC Management Centre

T: +32 2 550 08 32



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