Forum on ICT standards: SMEs to become standards setters!

On behalf of Small Business Standards – SBS, DIGITAL SME organised on 9 December the launch of the Forum on ICT standards for SMEs. The event took place at IHK Köln, the chamber of commerce and industry of Cologne, with the support of BITMI, the German federal association of IT small and medium sized enterprises.

The Forum is a European platform for discussion and sharing of information about ICT standards activities that are relevant to SMEs. The launch of the Forum was an opportunity for SMEs to learn from other companies, large and small, that are successful in making strategic use of standardisation. Speakers included experts from industry, such as IBM, Ericsson, QUALCOMM and TIM, as well as representatives of SMEs and of the European Commission.

Two panel sessions addressed case studies in the Internet of Things (IoT) and in the exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) through standards.

Oliver Grün, President of DIGITAL SME, commented “ICT standards are an important component of the Digital Single Market“. He continued “The event of today has given ideas and inspirations to SMEs that want to be not just standards users but also standards setters. We want SMEs to become champions in the Digital Single Market and we will continue to work with SBS to offer more support and opportunities to SMEs.

Watch the full video of the event

Going forward billions of connected devices: by 2021 almost some 28 billion devices are expected to be connected. More than half of the connected IoT devices will be non cellular devices, which will grow up to 14.2 billion in 2021.

Value of a network: traditional theories calculate the value of a network as equal to the sum of all connections among network members (equal to N*(N-1)/2). Yet, recent studies prove that the value is even higher (in the order of N*N). Thus, companies have even a higher incentive in investing to create standardised technology platforms (Internet of Things), where many devices can seemingly connect to each other.

Contributions to standards: these are technical solutions proposed by companies to standards; typically such solutions are patented, thus, the contributor agrees to licence his/her technology under fair, reasonable and non discriminatory terms. Statistics show that large companies contribute 7 times more than SMEs and startups altogether. Yet, chances of approval are similar for SMEs/startups and for larger companies.

The IoT standards landscape. With a large variety of applications and with a strong competition among platforms, the standards landscape for Internet of Things is still complex. Once the market becomes more mature, competition is expected to move from platforms to devices and then to services.




Event program

SBS – DIGITAL SME: smart standardisation for digital SMEs (brochure)

Audrey-Scozzaro-Ferrazzini-QUALCOMM (presentation)

Enrico-Scarrone-TIM (presentation)

Jochen-Friedrich-IBM (presentation)

Massimo-Vanetti-SBS (presentation)

Patrick-Hofkens-ERICSSON (presentation)

Ruben Bonet-FRACTUS (presentation)

Benoit Abeloos-European Commission (presentation)


The author of the picture on top of this article is Olaf-Wull Nickel (