IEEE’s efforts to encourage the worldwide use of its standards by working with national standards bodies are reaping rewards. In October, the Korea Electric Association became the third national standards body to agree to share knowledge of its standards development activities with the IEEE Standards Association, and so avoid technical duplication. KEA joins the South African Bureau of Standards and the Standards Institution of Israel, which also agreed to work with IEEE in 2008.
Unlike the United States, most countries have government-funded national standards bodies. These groups develop their own standards or adopt ones created by international standards developers like the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. IEEE-SA has a long history of working with the ISO, IEC, and other international standards developers, but making agreements with national standards organizations is something new.
“In Korea there is a growing awareness of standards as a tool for improving the development of technology,” says Chun-Jin Park, KEA standing vice chair. “This agreement will help us strengthen the Korean standards system and improve our participation in standards development on an international level.”
ROYALTY-FREE Under the agreements, the three countries, each of which have signed a memorandum of understanding with IEEE, have the right to adopt and distribute IEEE standards as their country’s standards without paying royalties. The organizations can also translate the standards while IEEE retains the copyright.
“It has been a long-standing policy to allow countries royalty-free adoption of individual IEEE standards,” says Terry deCourcelle, director of IEEE-SA Governance & International Standards Programs, in Piscataway, N.J. “These agreements allow a country to view the entire catalog of IEEE standards to determine their suitability for adoption.”
The national standards bodies will encourage technical professionals in each country to participate in the IEEE standards development process by joining working groups or reviewing and commenting on draft standards. And IEEE-SA will also work to educate technical professionals in the countries about the standards development process.
“These agreements are an opportunity for smaller countries to participate in the development of a standard and have a role in the international community,” deCourcelle says. “We’re trying to make people aware that IEEE is the source of the intellectual property in these standards and to enhance the worldwide perception of IEEE as a developer of global standards.”
For more information, visit http://standards.ieee.org/intl/index.html.