Businesses looking to commercialise emerging technologies are part of a developing business "ecosystem". The stronger they can exploit the networks within the ecosystem, the faster the market for their products will grow. However, these complex ecosystems can give rise to obstacles that get in the way of successful innovation.
Standards are key to removing these obstacles, as they can help an emerging technology ecosystem rally round the issues to promote successful commercialisation of new products. They can lay down the "rules of the game" for markets looking to develop and adopt emerging technologies. For example, they can help define interoperability so that one product or service can work with another made by a different organisation, or they can put down rules which reassure consumers about safety and reliability, particularly for technologies perceived to be risky.
Standards can also streamline the development of new technologies and related products, through processes and systems which are known to work.
By doing this, standards can reduce the time taken to commercialise new technologies and accelerate the speed at which innovations become more than mere ideas.