DIGITAL SME signs European Commission Pledge on Standards Education: Mobilising companies and public institutions to train the next generation of Europe’s standardisation experts

  • On the occasion of the High-Level Forum on Standardisation’s second annual meeting, the European DIGITAL SME Alliance joins a wide stakeholder community in supporting efforts on standardisation education and skills

  • DIGITAL SME pledges to join forces with the Digital Large-Scale Skills Partnership, which it leads under the European Commission’s Pact for Skills, and introduce in it a standardisation-focused stream of work

  • An essay competition on ICT standardisation topics will notably be set up with different higher education institutions, to stimulate interest in standards-related careers at the university level

Building from its 2022 Standardisation Strategy, in early 2023 the European Commission launched its High-Level Forum on Standardisation to advise decision makers on strategic matters in the field. At the first Forum meeting in January 2023, DIGITAL SME had stressed the importance of SME involvement in international standardisation processes, the need to avoid a proliferation of standards, and the provision of sufficient resources for SMEs to participate in standardisation.

Today, DIGITAL SME pursues this strong commitment by firmly supporting the High-Level Forum’s newly initiated Pledge on Standards Education & Skills – a voluntary commitment by its signing members to undertake actions in support of standards education. In the presence of European Commissioner Thierry Breton, DIGITAL SME Secretary General Sebastiano Toffaletti signed off on this new Commission initiative alongside other members of the Forum.

Substantially, DIGITAL SME pledges to join forces with the European Commission’s Digital Large-Scale Skills Partnership (LSP), an initiative under its Pact for Skills. As coordinator of the Digital LSP, DIGITAL SME will introduce a standardisation-focused angle into the Partnership’s activities.

Among other actions, an essay competition will notably be set up with different partner higher education institutions, whereby students can submit a short essay on an ICT standards-related topic. Rewarded essays will then lead to a workshop presenting the main reflections, and further initiate students to standardisation work with the presence of leading field experts. Upon evaluation of a jury, the most convincing essay would offer the possibility for the laureate to obtain a 6-month remunerated traineeship at the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, and pursue ICT standards-related work.

Additionally, DIGITAL SME will also leverage the work of the Standards Academy of, of which it is a consortium partner and whose training materials will be made available to the wide range of Digital LSP stakeholders. The training modules will be level-based, addressing different standardisation topics such as the role of standards in ICT (entry-level), patents and standardisation in ICT (intermediate level), or standardisation and open source (advanced level). Technology specific materials will also be developed, focusing for instance on artificial intelligence or blockchain standardisation.

All in all, by feeding a standardisation stream of work into the Digital LSP, ICT standardisation education and awareness can be promoted to a large and relevant audience. This will further contribute to streamline efforts with one of the European Commission’s flagship initiatives on digital skills.

DIGITAL SME calls on all interested parties to come together under this initiative, and drive it forward collectively by filling out a short contact form. For more information, or any questions on how to get further involved, please contact Alexander Chourreau (