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Noeleen O'Hara by Noeleen O'Hara

Earlier this month we shared with the ASTP community the latest call from DG Research and Innovation to participate in a consultation as part of its Action 7 of ‘A new ERA for Research and Innovation’. In addition to the Guiding Principles for Knowledge Valorisation called for in the Communication, two codes of practice are being developed to support the implementation of the Guiding Principles, including a Code of Practice for Researchers on Standardisation.

ASTP engaged with the process and here we share with you responses to the current recommendations encouraging universities and public research organisations and technology transfer offices to engage in the following:

A1. Develop a standardisation policy, alongside or as part of an IP or R&I results valorisation policy; 

A2. Consider standardisation activities and outputs appropriately in the career development plans and research assessment exercises of researchers;

A3. Provide for training and teaching on standardisation;

A4. Make technology transfer offices fit for standardisation;

A5. Establish links with relevant initiatives such as Putting Science into Standards;

A6. Develop an indicator and evaluation system

In addition to agreeing that these recommendations are generally complete, ASTP took the opportunity to stress certain aspects :

  •  “we believe it important to stress the need to provide training and raise more awareness among researchers and KT professionals supporting universities at university level since this topic is very new”
  •  “ASTP would like the EC to clarify how we can better take into account standardisation in IP management activities”
  •  “ASTP asks the EC to identify research areas which are more “affected” by standardisation and to collect/provide case studies/best practices. This would be hugely useful in ensuring early access to training and awareness -raising is focused in the most relevant research areas.”
  •  “ASTP also encourages the identification of any references to sources which help determine which research fields are most likely to have standards already used by industry.”

In Section D, where the survey asked which actors would need to be more addressed; ASTP recommended:

  • Universities and public research organisations including TTOs Large enterprises
  • SMEs & start ups
  • R&I financing agencies
  • Standard development organisations

In the dialogue box we added: “The emerging ecosystem of these highlighted actors relevant to standards development need to be afforded more opportunities to engage with each other to share experiences and develop ways in which the goals of the Code can be furthered. All to avoid the risk that this is introduced as a new concept which many researchers will fail to see as relevant to their research activities.”

In conclusion, we stressed the following: “This field is a very new one for researchers as well as knowledge transfer professionals. It is important to plan for how both topics (updating and engaging with existing standards as well as the introduction of standardisation into research planning) can be incorporated into practical, useful processes.”

Read the Stakeholder Consultation on the draft here

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