Skip to main content
Research and innovation

Code of practice on standardisation in the European Research Area

About the code of practice

The new Code of practice on standardisation aims to contribute to the successful integration of research and innovation with standardisation. It provides guidance to researchers and innovators by, for example, identifying elements of good practice. It concerns research and innovation activities without any technology boundaries. It targets research and innovation actors within a wide range of technology readiness levels from terminologies and concepts, through testing to interoperability and performance.

The Code of practice is a hands-on guidance that provides a set of recommendations grouped under 3 sections:

  1. For higher education institutions and research and innovation organisations to build relevant capacities
  2. For beneficiaries of EU, national and local research and innovation programmes to take inspiration from best practices
  3. For the policy level, including European, national and local authorities and standards development organisations, to take into account recommendations that will help everyone to use standardisation as an effective tool to harness results from research and innovation projects

Listen to testimonials about how the Code of Conduct has made a difference one year after adoption.

Publication cover
Factsheet1 March 2023
Code of practice on standardisation in the European Research Area

The objective is to make this publication widely spread to raise awareness on the Code of practice and to foster its uptake by the broadest possible range of R&I actors. 

News alert

Watch the video

Find out more by watching the ‘Valorisation Talk’ on the Code of Practice at the EU Knowledge Valorisation Week 2023.

Why we need a Code of practice on standardisation

Standards and standardisation have been increasingly recognised as an important channel for the successful transfer, commercialisation and valorisation of research results - they are a vital part of innovation.

Standards ensure compatibility and interoperability between different products, or minimum quality, performance and safety levels. They are also important in creating economies of scale and to increase efficiency in supply chains. There are many benefits of engaging in standards development for new and emerging technologies. 

Standards help bridge the innovation gap between research and global market impact by building customer trust in new innovative solutions. Early standards development enables faster mass-market adoption of new technologies, products and services. Standards have the power to strengthen the economic, social and environmental value and impact of research and innovation projects.

Main elements of the Code of practice

Recommendations for higher education institutions and private and public research and innovation organisations

  1. Developing a standardisation policy, self-standing or as part of an intellectual proper or research results valorisation policy
  2. Considering standardisation activities in career development plans
  3. Providing for education and training on standardisation
  4. Making Technology Transfer Offices fit for standardisation
  5. Developing an indicator and evaluation system

Recommendations for project partners

  1. Analyses of the landscape
  2. Common understanding and strategic position on standardisation
  3. Involving partners with expertise in making standardisation a tangible part of the project
  4. Making standards a tangible component of the project.
  5. Investing in stakeholder engagement
  6. Realistic outputs, outcomes and impacts and to consider suitable key performance indicators
  7. Striving for combined qualitative and quantitative performance reporting for evaluations and monitoring
  8. Taking standardisation considerations into account in innovation and  intellectual assets management (and vice versa)
  9. Ensuring sustainability beyond the project duration
  10. Addressing standardisation within sector platforms, public and private partnerships, project clusters, research and innovation centres or other joint fora

Recommendations for policy and stakeholders

  1. Promoting standardisation as a means of knowledge valorisation by EU member countries
  2. Examining the standardisation needs of startups and SMEs in research and innovation projects by EU member countries
  3. Standards Development Organisation to develop their service portfolios to align with research and innovation activities
  4. Use national support schemes in EU countries related to standardisation as a research and innovation valorisation tool

How was the Code of practice developed

The Code of practice is primarily based on the findings of the scoping study for the development of a code of practice on standardisation for researchers. The study identifies elements of good practice on how researchers engaged successfully with standards and/or the process of standardisation in the course of research projects that were funded by Horizon 2020, the research and innovation framework programme of the EU for 2013–2020. The Code of practice is result of a co-creation process with stakeholders.