EU Science Hub

Foresight 2025: integrated and fast-evolving standards key to innovation

Cover of the report To stimulate innovation and foster competition, standardisation needs to keep up with technological developments and societal challenges.
©EU, 2015
Apr 21 2015

A JRC foresight study suggests the European standardisation system should accelerate and rely on an integrated strategy. The study argues this is the only way standardisation will be able to keep pace with technological developments and societal challenges, stimulating innovation and fostering competition.

In an ever-more globalised economy with increasingly fierce competition, European industry will need to rely more on new, advanced manufacturing systems and technologies, for which new or upgraded standards will be needed on a regular basis to ensure quality and performance throughout the production and distribution system.

The study focuses on a 2025 vision and identifies five priority areas: integration, which aims at having standards that can cope with converging technologies and infrastructures, and assure interoperability and interconnectivity; environmental sustainability, focused on resource efficiency, zero waste and energy neutrality; quality and performance; services, meaning that consumers' demand for high-quality services as part of any product package will need to be addressed and "de-risking", referring to having standards that provide confidence towards innovative solutions and ensure protection from potential risks to health, security, safety and privacy.

The foresight study was carried out at the request of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs and with the participation of the Directorate-General for research and innovation. It was presented on 21 April at StandarDays - Your chance to discover the world of European Standards, held in Brussels.

The study also provides a template to identify standardisation needs so that they can be addressed earlier and in a more systematic way.