BSI Can Play Key Role In Closing UK Productivity Gap


23rd December 2003

Mike Low, the director of British Standards for the BSI Group, today announced his strong support for the Government's recently published Innovation Report, Competing in the Global Economy: the Innovation Challenge. The report is part of an overarching review that aims to close the productivity gap between the UK and its global competitors and highlights the role of Standards as a key element to make companies more innovative.

The review will provide a means of finding out about the current commercial climate and identifying what needs to be achieved to overcome potential problems or weaknesses. One part of this solution is the role of standards, which allow companies to innovate more easily through adopting 'ready-made' and recognised benchmarks.

"There is growing evidence and opinion that the role of standards is assisting more and more organisations to raise levels of management, operations, client care and products." says Mike Low. "Notwithstanding this, at BSI we are working with the Government and businesses to improve the way in which standards are conceived and implemented through the National Standardisation Strategic Framework (NSSF). The NSSF is sponsored by Government, CBI and BSI as a means of meeting the challenges of innovation and is directly tackling the issues that face those sectors demanding standards, by making the process more efficient and timely, more relevant to market demands and more easily available to industry.

"One of the biggest opportunities is for Government procurement projects to lead the way. Here, bidders who implement standards are more likely to succeed whether they are SMEs or large consortiums."

The NSSF framework document highlights six key areas for attention; Business, Government, Infrastructure, Innovation, International, and Awareness and Education. Implementation activity is provided for each area, for example;

  • A network of business contacts who will establish standardisation priorities and define sector-specific opportunities for UK business
  • The use of standardisation to secure public sector purchasing efficiencies, and increase opportunities for SMEs
  • An International Government Infrastructure to promote UK influence and commercial interests through an international network of contacts
  • An Innovation Watch to identify and address specific opportunities, and apply standardisation to new and emerging fields
  • An educational campaign to provide
    materials required to embed standardisation in the formal education curriculum

For further information about the NSSF visit and for a copy of the report go to

For more information please contact:

Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330