Research & Development Phase Standardization
Many new technical systems are developed with such rapidity that standardization in its traditional form cannot adequately keep pace. Characteristic for many innovative technologies, however, is that the resulting systems are so complex that without some form of normative structuring they will not function. Such complex systems are further characterized by their development proceeding in iterative stages that do not initially produce a stable "state of the art", which it has been the traditional task for standards to document.
For this reason, DIN has introduced the specification concept with which to create specifications (DIN SPEC) faster and hence in step with rapidly developing technologies. This involves a proactive approach to questions of standardization very early on in the overall process, which can then benefit from the timely formulation of recommendations on structural aspects of the developing product/system. The aim, then, is to define and agree on specifications at the R&D phase that can serve as jump-off points for further phases in the development process. The normative instruments designed to facilitate this are referred to by DIN collectively as R&D phase standardization.
Hitherto, standards prepared at the "round table" of DIN have reflected more the interest in the practical, safe and effective implementation of existing technology. R&D phase standardization, by its nature, represents a certain shift in interest and requires much higher involvement on the part of R&D experts. Achieving that involvement means persuading those concerned to see standardization in a new light: as an instrument that can be usefully applied to areas of rapid innovation and technological transfer. R&D phase standardization is a strategic instrument that today should form an integral part in the creation of new technology.
How does this work in practice? To promote the concept of R&D phase standardization, DIN has established a special committee answerable to the Presidial Board. It unites high-ranking representatives of the scientific and economic communities. Its remit is to examine possible areas of interest and, where appropriate, to initiate corresponding activities. Areas in which work is already in progress are, i.a., laser technology, integrated optics, microsystems, thin-film engineering, information technology, environmental technology, e-learning, e-commerce, e-government, knowledge management, and last but not least the field of services.
As part of a growing movement for reproducible research, a growing number of community-driven standardization efforts are working to make data along with the experimental details available in a standardized manner. The consortia at BioSharing are working on data exchange and reproducibility of experiments. BioSharing works to serve those seeking information on the existing standards, but also to identify areas where duplications or gaps in coverage exist and promote harmonization to stop wasteful reinvention. At DIN we’re seeking to help individual consortia to create, publish and establish international community standards. Standards support interconnectivity of experimental platforms and allow repeatability and reproducibility of scientific research. Worldwide.