How to Use Standardization to Network and Collect Inputs for Applied Research

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Standardization is, by definition (ISO, 2004) the activity of establishing, about actual or potential problems, provisions for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in each context. In particular, the activity consists of the processes of formulating, issuing and implementing standards. Important benefits of standardization are improvement of the suitability of products, processes and services for their intended purposes, prevention of barriers to trade and facilitation of technological cooperation. It is, therefore, easy to identify the synergies of it with the understanding that OECD (2015) has of applied research, defined as original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge, directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. Furthermore, formal standardization processes, based on the Code of Good Practices for the preparation, adoption and application of standards established by the World Trade Organization (WTO), follow principles such as transparency, participation, effectiveness and consensus, which assure different views of stakeholders are considered. For this reason, the participation in standardization processes is an effective way for researchers to:

  • network with the different stakeholders of a given subject
  • collect their needs and identify and anticipate new trends and challenges in business/industry
  • establish partnerships to develop for research-oriented innovation
  • facilitate knowledge transfer from academia to the market
  • assure future exploitation of research results through standardization and regulation, in line with the EU Standardization Strategy

To exercise their right to participate in standardization activities, researchers (as any citizens), shall contact their National Standardization Body (NSB), get acquainted with their technical committees and the standardization projects they are developing to choose in which they want to take part. After following the procedures to join, they become members of the chosen technical committees and work groups and start participating in meetings and consultations regarding the projects they’re interested in. And if they don’t find a technical committee, work group or projects in the field they want to participate – they can always help their NBS start one.


ISO (2004). ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004 Standardization and related activities — General vocabulary. ISO: Geneva.

OECD (2015). Frascati Manual 2015: Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development, The Measurement of Scientific, Technological and Innovation Activities. OECD publishing, Paris. DOI:

  • Watch

Bridging the worlds of Academia and Standardization part1

Every day is a “standards” journey!

The big wide world of standards (2013)

SOCK Puppets Explain: How ISO Develops Standards!

  • Do

(Estimated time to complete the task: 1-2 hours)

We’ll walk you through the first steps in the standardization world:

  1. Read the ISO Standards page and the CEN-CENELEC European Standards page
  2. Read the ISO Developing Standards page and the CEN-CENELEC Get Involved page
  3. Browse de ISO and the CEN-CENELEC Catalogues using any word you find fit to look for standards related to your research work and in which development you would like to participate
  4. Go to the ISO Members page and identify your national standardization body (NSB)
  5. Go to your NSB webpage and find how to join the work. If this information is not available at their website, contact them and ask directly.

  • Additional Resources

To get more acquainted with the world of standardization and find out how it can help your applied research activities, you can also explore the following resources:

  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) website
  • European Committee for Standardization/European Electrotechnical Standardization (CEN-CENELEC) website
  • Standards+Innovation Initiative website