Carl-Magnus Fahlcrantz is the project manager at SIS (Swedish Standards Institute).
The European Union considers innovation as key issue
– The European Union considers innovation a key issue in order to maintain the European competitiveness on the global market. And since it is a European project, it is very important for Swedish stakeholders to take an active part as soon as possible in the process in order to make an impact on the final result.
The initiator of this particular project is Spain, who themselves already have national standards for innovation management. The EU commission (the instance that recommends things to the ministry council and to the parliament) has shown an extra interest, according to Carl-Magnus Fahlcrantz, which is an important signal.
The European Union wants to promote standardization as a means to support a culture of innovation in Europe
– The European Union wants to promote standardization as a means to support a culture of innovation in Europe. And they state that small and medium-sized companies have the biggest growth potential when such standards are in place.
The aim of the European co-operation is to create standardized tools which help companies, authorities, universities and other organizations improving the management and the development of their innovation work.
The time frame for the project is 3-4 years, which at first may seem like a long time, but Carl-Magnus Fahlcrantz emphasizes that “the clock really starts ticking” once you have started.
– Many issues and questions go back and forth, so you, as a stakeholder, need to be at it right from the start in order to have any real influence.
Since innovation management embraces a lot of lines of businesses and sectors, the perspective must be a very horizontal one. Besides, Europe is rather heterogeneous when it comes to innovations. Sweden, for instance, is by tradition very good at inventions, although not so very good at implementing them, and making them profitable innovations on the market.
Given the wide and horizontal perspective with standards for innovation management, you want to know which sub-projects to start with. Carl-Magnus Fahlcrantz points out three things:
– Firstly, we need to reach an agreement on the different terms and expressions within innovation management that are prevalent today. Then, things like innovation management support services and assessment tools are also given priority.
People are often surprised when they realize how much influence you can have
Carl-Magnus Fahlcrantz concludes by once again stressing the importance of participation. He says that really “everybody” is welcome with their opinions and perspectives. And the sooner the interested parties give their input, the better the chance of them being included in the process.
– People are often surprised when they realize how much influence you can have. So consider all the possibilities and benefits, and not the limitations.
”Money does not make the world go around. Standards do.”
With the above somewhat overconfident statement, SIS markets their work. SIS means Swedish Standards Institute, formerly known as Svenska Industrins Standardiseringskommission, and they have been around for almost a century. Their mission is to formalize the work of different standards. Standards that each of us encounters daily. For example, the car pedals are in the same place when you hop into any car, you can insert your DVD-disc in any DVD-player regardless of brand, or the fact that you start reading this article in the top left-hand corner, and not anywhere else.
SIS is not an authority or any governmental institution, but a member organization. They constantly work with simplifying, improving, quality securing, and creating common standards. There are four general basic principles that charactererize SISs mission: openness, general agreement, voluntariness and community of interests.
Back in the 19th century, standardization was about the industry and industrial components. Today it i about functioning management tools and comparative figures for the customer, to the same extent.