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 March 2006 Global Notebook

Summit to Address U.S. Competitiveness in Global Standardization Activities

The American National Standards Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology will host an “Options for Action Summit” on July 18-19 on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Md. The event will focus on the identification of key standards-related issues that affect U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace and the definition of steps to ensure effective representation of U.S. technology interests in international standardization. High-level representatives from government, a wide range of industry sectors, and the standards development community are invited to attend. The summit will include an assessment of how the United States and its standards-setting activities are perceived overseas. Participants will also discuss assertions that the U.S. is being outspent by other developed nations in efforts that influence developing countries’ decisions on what standards to adopt. Consideration will be given to harmonizing standards-related technical assistance and outreach efforts that are already under way by U.S. stakeholders in certain developing nations and various standardization forums. Breakout sessions will further explore issues and nuances specific to particular technology sectors. Outcomes are expected to include recommended actions, as well as strategies, resources, and timetables for their implementation. More detailed information on the summit is available at ANSI online.

New Leadership Forum to Advise ASCE in Facing Broad Civil Engineering Challenges

ASCE has announced the establishment of the Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation, created in January by the ASCE board of direction. Expanding on the mission of the former Civil Engineering Research Foundation’s Corporate Advisory Board, the new forum will bring together leaders from industry, academia and government to define realistic options and progressive strategies to strengthen the profession and industry through technical innovation and public policy. The group’s first task will be to proactively encourage innovation to renew the nation’s decaying infrastructure. The forum will begin by developing a strategic roadmap to rebuild infrastructure with emphasis on advancing the adoption of technology, improving project performance, and increasing industry productivity in partnership with government entities. The Forum will seek support from public policymakers and technology leaders. CEFI will begin this work at its first Infrastructure Solutions Summit, April 25-26, in Washington, D.C. For more information on the summit, contact Gerry Yaggi, ASCE (phone: 703/295-6104).

Tributes Mark 10th Anniversary of National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

2006 marks the 10th anniversary of the passage of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, a piece of legislation that has had far reaching benefits for the standardization community and the nation as a whole. The NTTAA required federal agencies to turn to consensus-based, voluntary standards as alternatives to specifications that had previously been developed only for government use. The streamlined approach to standards development and implementation central to the NTTAA has saved billions of dollars by using consensus standards for procurement purposes and mitigating overlap and conflict in regulations. In addition to a special edition of the American National Standards Institute’s magazine ANSI Reporter, the Standards Engineering Society is also publishing a summary of case studies and success stories about implementation of the NTTAA that showcases how standards developing organizations have worked with government under the auspices of the NTTAA. For more information on the act and related celebratory events, click here.

Sustainable Construction

Coventry University and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Center for By-Products Utilization will hold an international conference on “Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies” at Coventry University, Coventry, UK, June 11-13, 2007. The conference will highlight case studies and applied research that show new and innovative ways of achieving sustainability of construction materials and technologies. Organizers are inviting papers on the different materials that are used in construction, including cementitious materials (fly ash, wood ash, silica fume, slag, natural pozzolans, and others), aggregates, admixtures, concrete, timber, masonry, metals, plastics, glass, bitumen, lime, and gypsum. Papers on paints, adhesives, preservatives, and preservation processes are also welcome. Abstracts of 200-300 words should be submitted by email to p.claisse@ by March 21. Full details are available from the conference Web site.

Industrial Explosion Prevention

The Sixth International Symposium on Hazards, Prevention, and Mitigation of Industrial Explosions will be held Aug. 27-Sept. 1 at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Presentations are being gathered on all aspects of explosion research – experimental work, modeling, fundamental studies, practical applications, case studies, etc. For more information, click here. //

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