Standardisation, Labelling, Certification - Facilitate the development of the Lead Markets
More consistent technical, performance and product standards along the whole production chain, from raw materials to end products can facilitate the development of LMI. In the 6 markets, the current standardisation process is fragmented. This results in competing standards that prevent interoperable solutions. The lack of interoperability makes the incorporation of knowledge and various components into complex new products and services complicated. Competing non interoperable standards impede innovative solutions along the value chain.
In the context of the LMI, the choices between such standards should therefore be made in an inclusive manner and preferably at EU level, while avoiding to exclude competing technologies. Pan-European standardisation platforms, such as the Europe INNOVA standardisation networks, may help identifying the most suitable standards for a given problem based on broad industrial consensus. Communication about standards should be improved in order to drive the demand of informed buyers and users and to ensure that standards are taken into account in research projects. Standards may facilitate the development of LM, provided they do not exclude competing technologies, unduly limit competition or hamper emerging demand. Standards should preferably be performance-based, yet technology-neutral. New approaches to self-certification may be developed, building on experiences within the industry.
Labels can push the market through minimum requirements by banning the worst performing products, while benchmarks can provide predictability and dynamism for industry. Mandatory performance labels to be displayed at the point of sales are crucial to allow consumers make informed choices. Energy star and (Eco-) labels will reward only the best performing products from the environmental perspective.