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 September 2005 Global Notebook

Value of Standards to UK Economy Determined in New Study

According to a study commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Department of Trade and Industry and published by the British Standards Institution,

• Standards make an annual contribution of £2.5 billion to the UK economy;
• Thirteen percent of the growth in labor productivity is attributed to the role of standards;
• Standards are an enabler of innovation and facilitator of technological change; and
• The economic return from investment in standards makes sound business sense at both a macro and micro-economic level.

The report – “The Empirical Economics of Standards” – quantifies the extent to which standards enhance products and services, build trading relationships, improve management practices and help organizations to reduce risk. As a result, the research finds they are a key driver of growth and labor productivity across the economy. Developed by a research team from the University of Surrey, Nottingham University Business School and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Germany, the findings also reveal that standards help drive innovation and underpin the adoption of new technology.

Jeffrey Confirmed by Senate as 13th NIST Director

The U.S. Senate has confirmed William Alan Jeffrey, a veteran manager of federal science and technology development, as the 13th director of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Jeffrey succeeds Arden Bement, who was appointed director of the National Science Foundation in November of last year. NIST Deputy Director Hratch Semerjian has served as acting director in the interim. Jeffrey has been involved in federal science and technology programs and policy since 1988. Prior to his appointment as director of NIST, he served as senior director for homeland and national security and the assistant director for space and aeronautics at the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the executive office of the president.

Technology Standards-Setting Under the Growing Influence of Europe and Asia

A seminar exploring the increasing influence of European and Asian interests on information and communication technology standard-setting will take place in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 5, in conjunction with the American National Standards Institute-hosted World Standards Week 2005 events and the Institute’s Annual Conference, “From A to Veeck: Standardization and the Law.” Two consecutive panels of experts covering Europe and Asia will review recent events and trends, and attempt, in an interactive format, to paint a clear picture of their impact on international vendors and the standards development community as a whole. The panels will feature experts from standards-setting organizations, industry and government, and is
intended for members and managers of both consortia and accredited standards development organizations. Additional details on topics and panelists will be announced as plans are completed, and will be available here. Though there is no fee to attend, space will be limited and prior registration is required.

Quality in Action

While the overall frozen baked goods industry has remained relatively flat, sales for The Bama Companies have increased 72 percent; total revenue has grown from $123 million in 1999 to $211 million in 2004. Small manufacturer Texas Nameplate Company used innovative processes and new technology to decrease cycle time by 50 percent and increase profits by 40 percent. For the past several years, Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business has scored in the top 1 percent for overall student satisfaction and has been above the 90th percentile nationally for academic rigor. Over the past five years, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton has steadily improved its market share, especially in the areas of cardiology and oncology. The hospital’s retention rate for nurses is at 99 percent. To learn more about the outstanding results and innovative practices that earned these four organizations the 2004 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, see their recently released award application summaries here.

Lean Certification Standard Under Way

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing are working together to develop a new standard for lean certification. The organizations are collaborating with industry and academia in the initiative, which has been encouraged by lean constituents. The certification scheme is being designed for manufacturing professionals who want recognition and credentials to illustrate their knowledge and application of lean principles. Certification candidates will have to serve as mentors and be mentored, provide a portfolio to illustrate how lean principles were applied in organizations, and pass an examination.

NIST’s Manufacturing Lab Prints 2005 Program Guide

With a value-added contribution of $1.4 trillion, U.S. manufacturing directly accounts for approximately 13 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory has just released its annual 2005 guide to programs serving that critical national sector. The publication summarizes MEL work in dimensional metrology, homeland and industrial control security, intelligent control of mobility systems, manufacturing interoperability, manufacturing metrology and standards for healthcare enterprise, mechanical metrology, nanotechnology and smart machining systems. Each program notes the resources, objectives, customer needs addressed, accomplishments, current year plans, lifetime objectives and related measurement and standards work. Special MEL activities also are reviewed, including the laboratory’s role in the international Intelligent Manufacturing Systems program, Systems Integration for Manufacturing Applications and the National Science and Technology Council Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing Research and Development. “MEL: The Programs of the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory 2005” (NISTIR 7218) is available here. For a paper copy, contact Lisa Fronczek. //

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