Brussels dialogue on future trends
DIN and DKE inform assistants of European Parliamentarians about standardization and future trends
Maintaining a dialogue with political stakeholders: This was the aim of the "Future dialogues" event in Brussels hosted by DIN and DKE to which assistants of European parliamentarians were invited. The event was well-attended, with 30 participants.
Sibylle Gabler, Senior Manager of Government Relations at DIN, explained how European standardization works, as well as which opportunities and risks a transatlantic partnership with the USA could bring. The topic of standardization presents a challenge in the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The negotiations have given US standards setters and government representatives the opportunity to renew attempts to introduce US standards in Europe within the New Legislative Framework. The "mutual recognition" of standards and specifications may sound sensible at first but would, for a number of reasons, be not very practical - possibly even dangerous - for Europe. DIN's position paper on the subject gives more detailed information.
At the same event, Bernhard Kempen of DIN's Innovation Division spoke on the current situation in smart cities standardization. At all levels, in all countries, specialists are dealing with this subject. DIN is proactive in identifying standardization needs in this area. For example, experts see a particular need for standardizing the "humble lamppost": Street lights of the future will not only provide light in an intelligent, energy-saving way, but will also serve as charging stations for electric vehicles, send emergency calls, and provide public Wi-Fi. A simple street light of the future will need a complex information system. Because different technologies will be coming together to form complex, interacting processes, standardization will be absolutely essential.
Industry 4.0 is another trending area where new paths need to be laid. The merging of real production with the virtual world requires a sophisticated integration of systems which can be facilitated by means of standards. This was the message of Reinhold Pichler, who is responsible for Industry 4.0 within DKE, the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies. There are already many standards relevant to Industry 4.0. The goal of DIN and DKE is to systematize these standards in a way suitable for the field of Industry 4.0.