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What Does Industry Expect from Standards Education?
Industry needs for standardization education will be the core theme of the ICES 2013 (International Cooperation on Education about Standardization) Conference, hosted by ETSI on 12-13 June 2013 and supported by CEN and CENELEC.
Technological as well as business developments make standards indispensable. In order to benefit from standards, companies need proper knowledge about them and about their development. Standardization education should provide such knowledge, both for current business leaders and employees, and – via formal education – for future jobholders and citizens in industry and society.
This conference provides the opportunity to learn from fellow participants from all over the world, from industry, universities, standards bodies and other interested stakeholders in standardization education.
The International Cooperation on Education about Standardization (ICES) is a network of individuals and organizations interested in education about standardization. ICES aims to promote education about standardization and improve its quality and attractiveness for all stakeholders.
In the development of new technologies, companies increasingly use open innovation: they involve parties outside their company in the development process. These technologies need business applications, often in the form of services. In this way, systems of interrelated components and services emerge, developed by a variety of organizations, then produced by another group of organizations, and delivered to a variety of customers. So technologies, products and services get interrelated and the same applies to the organizations involved in design, production, distribution and use – supply chains and networks instead of single organizations. In such value chains, standards specify the interfaces between the elements of the system, and provide criteria for system elements as well as systems as a whole. Therefore service standardization becomes more important, additional to technical standardization. A company’s competitive position depends on its ability to use standards. Companies being able also to influence the standards have a major competitive advantage.
Not all companies understand this essential role of standardization and reap the full benefits. This applies to SMEs but to bigger companies as well. Standardization education should provide the necessary awareness and knowledge. Therefore, the main target group for standardization education is industry: directly (in the case of post-formal education and training) or indirectly (preparing current students for their future role in industry). These industry needs form the main theme of the ICES 2013 conference: why does industry need standardization education and, next, which education exactly do they need. Additionally also the education needs of other stakeholders receive attention, including governments, consumers and NGOs. In a society in which everything is interrelated, the role of standards becomes more important for them as well.
Education as such is to a large extent a national activity. For that reason, participants will get the opportunity to share experiences in setting up national structures for standards education and national strategies to implement standardization education. Here the complementary responsibilities of industry and their associations, government, national standards bodies and educational institutions will be addressed. In turn, the national level can be supported by the regional level. Initiatives in Asia (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) and Europe (European Standardization Organizations and European Union) will be presented and discussed.
In parallel, there will be a session on business benefits of standards and standardization: to which extent is evidence available about such benefits?
Immediately following ICES, the WSC (World Standards Cooperation) Academic Day 2013 will take place on 14 June 2013 at the same venue, with the theme of Education in standardization for future managers - needs and prospects.
The World Standards Cooperation (WSC) was established in 2001 by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in order to strengthen and advance the voluntary consensus-based international standards systems of IEC, ISO and ITU. The WSC Academic Day is conceived to promote dialogue between universities and the international standards community, to raise awareness and to foster cooperation and joint initiatives.
Participants learn from each other: improved understanding of education needs, of existing programs and approaches. The conference triggers the launch of new initiatives, such as: exchange of materials, new courses on standardization, extended contribution of industry experts to university courses, new or strengthened partnerships between standards bodies and universities.
The ICES 2013 Conference and the WSC Academic Day 2013 both give continuity to the ICES and WSC events organized in previous years: 2010 in Geneva (Switzerland), 2011 in Hangzhou (China) and 2012 in Bali (Indonesia).
CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI also host the EURAS conference on standardization research on 24-26 June at the CEN/CENELEC Management Centre in Brussels (see www.euras.org).
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