“The door for more SME-involvement in AI-standardisation is open”: the SBS ICT Forum 2020

  • Today’s SBS ICT Forum on “Policy, Norms, and Standardisation of Artificial Intelligence” brought together high-level policymakers, standardisation experts, and tech businesses to discuss challenges and opportunities for SMEs

  • Over 100 virtual participants who engaged actively throughout the webinar made it a highly successful online event

  • “The door for more SME involvement in AI-standardisation is open” — now we need more SMEs to knock on it!

Brussels, 28 September (DIGITAL SME/SBS). It was a strong sign for the great interest European small businesses have for artificial intelligence, and that they increasingly perceive standardisation as a tool to get there: the annual SBS ICT Forum, held today by DIGITAL SME and Small Business Standards (SBS).

Two high-level panel sessions saw a fruitful and energised exchange of ideas, including contributions from Lucilia Sioli, Director for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry at the European Commission’s DG Connect, MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, members of DIGITAL SME’s SME Focus Group on AI and representatives of the European Standardisation Organisations (ETSI and CEN-CENELEC).

Panellists discussed “Policy, Norms, and Standardisation of Artificial Intelligence”, as well as challenges and opportunities for SMEs. The discussion focused on practical steps to include SMEs in standardisation, to ensure their views and interests are represented in a process otherwise dominated by large enterprises. “The door for more SME-involvement in AI-standardisation is open”, said Lindsay Frost from ETSI.

Another point that participants considered essential to making AI a success in Europe was scalability: users tend to converge on solutions that are widely spread. Thus, if European companies want to compete internationally, Europe needs to provide a level-playing field that allows companies to scale up and sell more AI solutions. Standards can set the fair grounds for an economy that enables competition and innovation, which will bring about scalable and successful European solutions. However, in order to seize those opportunities, SMEs need to be made aware that standards can support their business aims. Through awareness raising and knowledge-sharing about technologies and standards, European Standardisation Organisations can help to bring AI to the wider economy.

DIGITAL SME and SBS will continue to promote SME participation in ICT standardisation, in AI and all other applicable sectors. Stay tuned for a detailed report with key take-aways from the event to be published soon on our website. If you missed the event, you can watch a replay of the SBS ICT Forum 2020 on YouTube:

Part 1:

Part 2: