Are Standards Wars a Myth or Reality?

Mar 10, 2011, 11:02 ET from American National Standards Institute

May 12th ANSI Workshop to Examine Market Forces on Standards Development and Conformance Activities

NEW YORK, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Is there such a thing as too many standards? And if there are multiple standards and conformance solutions available, how can a company, organization, or government agency choose the best option for their needs? These and other questions surrounding the forces of competition, convergence, and coordination have been hotly debated within the standards and conformance community for years.

In an effort to address these issues in an open, neutral forum, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), will convene Standards Wars: Myth or Reality? – an interactive workshop on May 12, 2011, in Washington, DC. As standards and conformance underpin more than 80 percent of worldwide commodity trade, well-coordinated standardization activities are critical to advancing U.S. competitiveness on the global stage.

In today's standards wars, there are two prevailing schools of thought:

  1. There are too many standards. Many are duplicative, and some are even conflicting in their specifications. How can we choose the best option?
  2. Standards developers and consortia work to meet marketplace needs. If there are multiple standards in a given area, that is because there is demand for multiple standards-based solutions.

ANSI's day-long workshop will take a highly interactive, panel-based approach to examining the impact of competition, convergence, and coordination in different areas of standards development. Attendees will uncover instances where conflict and duplication have been intentional in response to stakeholder needs, and unintentional due to lack of awareness of existing standardization efforts. Participants will also discuss tools to identify potentially conflicting and duplicative standards projects as early as possible in their development, including NSSN, the search engine for standards, which is currently under redevelopment.

To be held on May 12, 2011, at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC, the event is free of charge and open to all stakeholders, including representatives from U.S.-based and international standards developing organizations, consortia, trade associations, industry, government agencies, consumer and labor groups, and academia. Registration closes Wednesday, April 27, 2011.

For more information, or to register, visit

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

SOURCE American National Standards Institute