In many areas, Germany's standardization system has a pioneering role and is seen by other countries as a model. The aim must be for the system to retain this status. In order for DIN to continue to meet the needs of industry as effectively as possible, its future course has been set with DNS 2020 – the German Standardization Strategy 2020. One of the first phases in this process is represented by the DIN Strategy 2016, which has six essential targets.
1. Convergent innovative technologies and DIN SPECs
Even greater use must be made than before of standardization conducted by standards bodies or fora and consortia, in order to bring innovative developments more quickly to market and to promote the convergence of different spheres of technology. The aim is for convergent innovative topics to be developed – early, systematically, and in the interests of the sectors concerned ("KITE" project: German acronym for "Konvergente innovative Themen entwickeln"-"Developing convergent innovative topics"). The use of new standards and specifications (DIN SPECs) for this purpose will be actively encouraged. Projects are currently in progress concerning biotechnology, Industry 4.0, smart cities, the transition to decentralized renewable energy, and logistics.
The standardization of information and communications technology (ICT) must be networked at DIN with the disciplines of its application, in order for German cutting-edge technology to become the standard throughout the world.
2. DIN International
Within its network, DIN brings together all the relevant stakeholders in standardization: commercial companies, the research community, industry and professional associations, the government, and the social partners. Through this network, DIN thus provides German industry – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises – and the research sector with means of influencing standardization at European and international level.
3. Partnership between DIN and the public sector
As an autonomous body within industry, DIN has maintained a highly successful partnership with the German state for almost 40 years. The model benefits both sides. It ensures that standardization is driven by the interests of industry and that the state is relieved of tasks in this area. At the same time, it considers the public objectives of protection, such as occupational safety and health, within standardization activity. This partnership must be continued on the basis of equality.
4. Quality and efficiency of the work processes
DIN attaches particular attention to the quality of its products and the efficiency of its work processes. Ever-shorter innovation cycles require standards to be made available swiftly. The "Standardization 18.0" project is intended to reduce the development term for standards to 18 months and to establish a zero-error culture. This goal is to be reached by the streamlining of internal processes at DIN, CEN and ISO and by a binding schedule and improved organization of the work conducted on the committees. With Standardization 18.0, DIN is responding to a requirement of the European Commission that from 2020 onwards, mandated standards work items will receive funding only if they are completed within 18 months.
5. Standardization of services
The service sector accounts for around 70% of Germany's gross value added – a substantial proportion. As yet however, it generates only 15% of the country's total exports. Standards have an important function in the gaining of further market share in international competition. The European Commission has recognized this importance, and has set out the promotion of the development of standards governing services in the Regulation on European Standardisation.
Key aspects of the Beuth2015 project are extension of the publishing house's digital infrastructure, the introduction of new business models, and a wider range of customized solutions for customers (see Beuth). The focus of the new orientation lies upon the core markets of construction, building services engineering and mechanical engineering. New potential markets, such as medical technology and power generation and distribution technology, have also been identified as growth areas of interest.
The essential premise that standardization in Germany serves the economy and society by strengthening and shaping regional and global markets and facilitating access to them is as valid today as it was a decade or a century ago.
Dr. Albert Hövel - Head of Technical department 1 at DIN