INTEREST - Integrating research and standardization: What standards-setting bodies could do

Based on conceptual models and hypotheses about the interface between research and standardisation developed in the literature survey, a questionnaire was designed for participants of the 5th Framework Programme. In October and November 2005, more than 3,000 project coordinators were contacted via email to fill out the questionnaire. In total, more than 500 participants responded to the survey. Based on this broad and solid database, an in-depth and differentiated analysis of the responses allowed a distinction between researchers active in basic or applied research, but also in different institutional settings.
A first main result is that terminology, but also measurement and testing standards have a rather high relevance for basic researchers, whereas quality and safety standards and compatibility standards become more important for applied researchers and experimental developers. Around one third of the respondents is actively involved in standardisation. The analysis of the general collaboration patterns reveal that those involved in standardisation also have a higher collaboration intensity, especially with multinational companies.
Standards are as important as patents as a source of knowledge for applied researchers and experimental developers, whereas basic researchers rely more on scientific publications. However, more important for the problem of the transfer of knowledge from research to standardisation is the very low level of reputation for the active involvement in standardisation. Consequently, researchers have very low incentives to participate actively in standardisation. This is also confirmed by the ranking of the most important problems concerning active participation in standardisation, since high cost in terms of time, but also financial resources, e.g. for travelling, are the top obstacles for researchers. However, the structure of standardisation processes, e.g. their speed and flexibility, is perceived as a major problem for the effective transfer of knowledge from research to standardisation. Consequently, solutions to overcome these obstacles are, from the perspective of researchers, not only additional funding for participation in standardisation, but also more positive acknowledgement of standardisation work in evaluations of institutions, but also programmes. Finally, standardisation processes themselves have to be adjusted in order to allow a more efficient integration of researchers and their work.


URL (Rwth-Aachen, Germany)


Barriers, R&D, Research, SSBs, Standard-setting

Additional information:

AuthorsINTEREST project
Keywords:Barriers, R&D, Research, SSBs, Standard-setting
Last update:2005
Additional comments:The recommendations presented in this document are based on findings of the INTEREST project. INTEREST is a specific Targeted Research Project (STReP) under the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) of the European Commission. The INTEREST project conducted indicator-based analyses, a survey among researchers funded under the 5th Framework Programme and case studies in organisations active in R&D. The research was conducted by a consortium coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (DE) and the project partners Dialogic (NL), the STEP Centre for Innovation Research (NO), RWTH Aachen (DE) and the National Physical Laboratory (UK).
More information about this project may be found at: