Partnering to Meet Standards Goals

Cicely Enright

Collaborating to Develop Standards and Related Resources

When responding to standards needs, ASTM International welcomes the opportunity to partner with other industry, trade or research groups.

The involvement of other organizations can enrich standards work as well as related training, certifications, manuals and more, and new ASTM activities are under way through this approach.

Before a partnership begins, as with all possible standards activities, due diligence is required.

When considering partnering with an organization in your field, which may have a group of documents or expertise that would add value to your committee's standards, first answer some questions. If there's a standards need, what is it? Why should an activity be started? Are there industry interests, government agencies, consumer groups and others willing to develop standards in this area? Is there another group already involved in the area? Are there other service programs (certification, training for example) that may assist the industry?

Responding to questions like this will help you to think about how a new effort could help with concerns about market, performance, quality, safety or efficiency issues.

As you explore the potential for a new activity and partnering, contact Brian Meincke, ASTM assistant vice president, business development (phone: 610-832-9613). He will ask you to detail information along the lines of the above in keeping with ASTM's established process.

This issue highlights partnerships; for more, see the features on pages 38 and 44.

One example is seen in a heat metering activity now housed under Committee E44 on Solar, Geothermal and Other Alternative Energy Sources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized a need and ultimately brought it to the attention of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and ASTM because of relevant expertise in and interest by both groups. IAPMO and ASTM agreed to cooperate in this effort and signed a memorandum of understanding for the work.

Another example is recently organized Committee E62 on Industrial Biotechnology. Industry stakeholders of the Society for the Commercial Development of Industrial Biotechnology, an affiliate of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, presented their due diligence to ASTM International, and a new committee has grown out of the collaboration.

Perhaps an organization prefers not to develop or continue to maintain standards under its jurisdiction. Through an arrangement between the U.S. National Institute of Justice and ASTM, ASTM Committee E54 on Homeland Security Applications has become responsible for active equipment standards and will develop others.

Even if the time is not yet right for standards development, a partnership with ASTM can help lay groundwork by opening communications and exploring possibilities. An MOU with America Makes, formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, will facilitate standards development under Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies. And, an agreement between the Critical Materials Institute and ASTM Committee F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials is based on a similar approach. One group focuses on the research, and when standards are needed, they will be developed using the ASTM consensus process.

In all these scenarios, ASTM International can respond to current and future needs.

"ASTM is a service and solutions provider," says Meincke. "We're a flexible organization prepared to collaborate in new ways to solve whatever problems exist."

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