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Eu Standardisation process to be given new impetus with the first HSbooster open call

Photo credit: European Commission, 2022In April 2022, the European Commission launched a new service to support common standards in the European Union, called HSbooster. Relying on funding from the Horizon Europe programme, the consortium partner involved in the implementation of the initiative has now released the first of five open calls that will allow ongoing or completed H2020 and Horizon Europe projects to receive advice and guidance on how their research results can create tangible impact and how to turn them into marketable solutions.

With no cost for the applicants, selected projects will be provided with a consultancy service measuring their standardisation readiness and ensuring so as to determine if they are contributing to the revision of EU legislation in the field of standardization in which the European Union is eager to become a global leader. HSbooster's goal is that of effectively responding to the main priorities of the European Strategy on Standardisation, contributing to the development of efficient Standards that might be capable to accelerate the transition towards a more resilient, green and digital economy and to protect democratic values in technology applications.

Standards are a strategic asset to achieve competitiveness on a global scale in the view of the EU executive, as a result of their capability of ensuring interoperability of products and services, reducing costs, improving safety and fostering innovation. From Wi-Fi frequencies, to connected toys or ski bindings, just to mention a few, “standards give confidence that a product or a service is fit for purpose, is safe and will not harm people or the environment”, the European Commission stated in the Strategy.

The delivery model for the five open calls will be “first-come-first-serve”. The applicant projects will only be rejected in case they do not live up to the eligibility criteria. Applicants are asked to show that their projects are funded by the EU; the individual applicant(s) represent the task of the project that has standardisation potential; the applicant works in one of the EU Member States or Associate Countries, the applicant accepts the Terms of Reference; the application is not in conflict to the call topics;there is a clear link to the standardisation call; a consultancy is the most suitable service and the helpdesk is not more suitable; the time required for service to be delivered does not exceed 3 months; the application clearly identifies and respects EU sovereignty; the request has potential impact with respect to the EU standardisation strategy.

“If any of the above points are not suitable, the application will be rejected and the applicant will be able to re-apply”, the text of the call reads. A feedback summary of the rejected application will be sent to the applicant stating which fields either require more information or stating the ineligibility. Topics covered by this first open call are divided into “priority topics”, classified as being highly urgent, and “other topics” based on the Standardisation Urgencies highlighted in the EU’s Standardisation Strategy. Preference will be given to the first group of Topics, which include the shepers “Pancemics”, “Robust supply chains”, “Data quality and Artificial Intelligence”, “Clean energy” and “Circular economy in the construction sector”. Information on the project, its standardisation-related objectives and gain expectation from the booster service are to be provided at the time of application. The call will be running until 30th September 2022 and services will commence in September 2022.