In recent years, research and innovation projects, particularly those funded under Horizon 2020, have increasingly emphasised the importance of standardisation to enhance the dissemination and exploitation of their outcomes. This article explores the incorporation of standardisation practices within the PROBONO project and highlights the advantages it brings to the project's goals and objectives.
How can a standardisation body support an R&I project as a project partner?
In the context of the PROBONO project, the standardization efforts are managed as a distinct task, overseen by the German Institute for Standardization (DIN). Essentially, the standardization task encompasses the following primary activities:
· Analysing existing standards and ongoing standardisation activities
· Analysing the standardisation potential of the projects’ results
· Initiating standardisation activities
The first step in terms of standardisation in an R&I project is to analyse existing standards and ongoing standardisation activities related to the project's topic in order to support the development and implementation of project results with state-of-the-art information and to avoid reinventing the wheel. Therefore, an overview of those documents and activities is provided by the standardization organization, but the experts of the Consortium have to evaluate for themselves whether the standards provided are useful for the project or not.
This analysis provides the basis for the second step of standardisation activity within an R&I project, the analysis of the standardisation potential of the project's results. By assessing the project's results, the need of the end users and the already existing relevant standardization activities, gaps in standardization are identified together with all project partners. Together it will be decided which potentials will be followed, and if a collaboration with relevant standardisation committees would be useful for the project.
If promising standardisation potentials are identified, the initiation of standardisation activities can lead to the development of a new standard, such as a CEN Workshop Agreement. Another option is to provide input to existing standardization activities. To do this at an early stage and to exert the greatest possible influence, a liaison with the appropriate technical committee or working group on the European or international level is advantageous.
What are the main benefits of standardisation for the project?
When applying existing standards and developing solutions that are in accordance with those standards, market acceptance of project results is ensured. Furthermore, it facilitates interoperability with existing and upcoming solutions. Incorporating project results and knowledge into standardization, whether by developing new standards or providing comments on existing ones, will ensure the long-term dissemination of project results. This, in turn, enhances the impact of the R&I project in general and increases its visibility.
What is already done regarding standardisation within PROBONO?
As part of PROBONO, an overview of existing standards and ongoing standardisation activities at the European and international levels has already been created for the consortium. Information from the existing standards has been transferred to a dashboard that can be further analyzed (see the figure below).
The dashboard provides an overview of the standards that may be of interest in the context of PROBONO. It also equips the consortium with the ability to easily find relevant standards using keywords. But how was this dashboard created? It would not have been possible without the support of all project partners, who provided the areas and associated keywords where an overview of existing standards and ongoing standardization activities is needed. Those keywords were used by DIN to identify related standards and standardization committees at the European and international levels. Knowledge of the relevant standardization committees is essential for monitoring active work items that are not yet published standards. Since standardisation is not standing still, the dashboard will be regularly updated.
Are there any standards or technical committees which are specifically relevant to PROBONO?
On an international level, there is ISO/TC 268 – Sustainable cities and communities, which has already developed many standards that could be highly relevant for PROBONO. Within this project, a common Green Building Neighbourhood (GBN) framework will be established. In this regard, the standards series on Sustainable cities and communities (ISO 37100 – ISO 37123) are being closely analyzed by our GBN Committee.