Encouraging innovation and growth with standards

How do standards encourage innovation and growth?

Businesses looking to commercialise emerging technologies are part of a developing business ‘ecosystem’, and the stronger they can exploit the networks within the ecosystem, the faster the market for their products will grow.

The development of standards can help an emerging technology ecosystem rally round the issues to promote successful commercialisation of new products. This is why standards can make such a difference to the success of innovative businesses: they create a common framework for innovation and establish the ‘rules of the game’. Standards set the framework by defining common vocabularies, establishing the essential characteristics of a product or service, and by identifying the best practice within the ecosystems that will ensure successful outcomes.

Once these rules are in place, the pace of innovation will be accelerated and success will be much more likely.

The difference a ‘set of rules’ makes

  • You’re less likely to duplicate what’s already been produced, allowing you to concentrate on the activities within your business and product that really add value.
  • Your product or service will more easily be integrated with the rest of the ecosystem.
  • Investors have more confidence that the innovation will be successful.

New standards are being developed all the time as new sectors, markets and business models emerge, and the sooner these standards are in place, the faster and more efficiently growth occurs.  

Adding efficiency to innovation

Standards also provide a tried and tested framework for taking new ideas from the drawing board or development bench all the way to commercial production. They define the essential parameters, the safety considerations, testing processes, and how to move to prototyping and scale-up.  

Thriving in a world of complex innovation networks

The commercial exploitation of emerging technologies is seen today as key to the future success of the manufacturing sector. This is a new kind of high value manufacturing, and it operates very differently from the traditional supply chain-based manufacturing model.

Today’s high value manufacturing sector is a complex global system, with large numbers of different businesses each operating across a number of industrial sectors. These businesses interact with each other in highly complex and interlinked value chains, trading not just raw materials and components, but also data and services.

In this world success depends on the number of successful connections and interactions a business can establish, and the connections in turn depend on ‘interoperability’, or the ability to work to the same set of rules or within the same framework.

Standards are a key tool to surviving in a fast moving, highly complex 21st century global economy.