How government funding works

Most standardization activity takes place without the government getting involved at all. Organizations use standards simply because they help them perform better. But it’s precisely because standards work so well that the government wants to encourage new standards – to help the economy grow and to help meet its policy goals. 

The government department responsible for policy on standardization is the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Because BSI is the UK National Standards Body, BIS works closely with us, drawing on our experience and using our specialist skills and expertise. Its aims include:

  • Encouraging innovation among UK businesses
  • Helping UK businesses participtae in new markets
  • Reducing businesses' exposre to risks of different kinds
  • Helping particular sectors of the economy work more efficiently
  • Keeping the UK at the forefront of international standardization

To achieve these goals, BIS funs a huge range of BSI projects, enabling us to create new standards, codes of practice and guides, write case studies and research reports, and organise an array of events. It also funds the UK's participation in international standards by contributing to the travel costs of UK experts. BIS gives government departments discounted access to standards so they, too, benefit from them.

BSI also collaborates with other parts of government. In 2013, for example, we launched a programme to develop standards for emerging technologies with the support of Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). 

Another important programme, funded by BIS (Services Unit), is aimed at developing standards for smart cities – cities of the future which will use data capture and communication technologies to deliver high quality services. 

Annual reports on funding

Each year we produce a report that covers in detail how we spend BIS money – you can download the reports here:

Current report

Past reports