Standards enable dissemination of knowledge, bridge the gap between research and products/services allowing the diffusion of the technology, facilitate the deployment of new technologies, and allow innovations to more easily gain market acceptance and consumer trust. DG Research and Innovation is leading the creation of the Code of Practice for researchers on standardisation to offer a set of recommendations on how beneficiaries of public R&I programmes can best identify opportunities and techniques to valorise their projects results through standardisation.
In June-December 2021 EFIS Centre, in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences IMC Krems (Vienna) and Ecorys (Brussels), delivered a study contributing to the development of the Code of Practice for researchers on standardisation. It had two objectives: (1) to help understand success factors of Horizon 2020 projects in relation to the valorisation of their results thanks to the involvement in standardisation activities; and (2) to provide a set of recommendations on how beneficiaries of public R&I funds can best valorise projects results through standardisation.
The work involved (a) screening the replies to a European Commission survey sent to 2,200 beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 with evidence of standardisation activities (valid responses obtained from 1,020 projects with a 46 % return rate) and (b) applying a set of exclusion (‘must have’) and bonus point criteria, derived from targeted literature and expert interviews. Total 40 projects exhibiting a range of ‘elements of good practice’ for case study analysis were selected and which identified any additional elements of good practice.
Results of the study indicate the existence of a stable and recurring set of elements of good practice. One important result is that the more exploratory research activities and the more formal standardisation processes are different in nature and difficult to synchronise. Standardisation activities within a research project largely lead to a need to engage in wider stakeholder management. There need to be close ties between the research consortia and the technical committees that develop standards. Researchers’ awareness of and know-how about standardisation processes are frequently low, and the development of recognised performance indicators to track the success of technology transfer and valorisation activities is in its infancy. Recommendations were developed for universities / public research organisations (institutional level), researchers (project level), policymakers and the wider stakeholder community, and specifically regarding the development of performance indicators. They aim to help future beneficiaries of public R&I programmes to identify opportunities and techniques to use standardisation for valorising results from their project.
“In line with the Commission’s 2022 Standardisation Strategy, DG Research and Innovation is developing a Code of practice on standardisation to raise awareness among researchers and innovators and to facilitate a consistent approach to standardisation activities. This important policy work is strongly backed by a scoping study developed by EFIS Centre, in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences IMC Krems (Vienna) and Ecorys (Brussels). Based on evidence from Horizon 2020 projects, the project really proved to be eye-opener and the outcome is a strong input to our guidance to our beneficiaries of public R&I funds on how best to valorise projects results through standardisation.” (Gergery Tardos, Project Officer, Unit E2 – Valorisation Policies and IPR, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission)