What is World Standards Day?
World Standards Day began as a celebration of the birth of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO www.iso.org), which held its first meeting in London on October 14, 1946. From an initial roster of 25 countries, ISO (based in Geneva, Switzerland) now has 123 member nations and has evolved into the global clearinghouse for all standards activities. ISO’s U.S. representative, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI www.ansi.org), is one of the founding organizations of World Standards Day. Today, World Standards Day is sponsored annually by ISO; the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC www.iec.ch), which develops international standards for the electrical and electronics industries; and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU www.itu.int), an international organization responsible for the coordination, development, regulation, and standardization of telecommunications standards.
The goal of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of global standardization to the world economy and to promote its role in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government, and consumers worldwide. The international event pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities. Since its initial celebration in 1970, member countries commemorate World Standards Day by organizing special gatherings and events, ranging from conferences, exhibitions, and seminars to film shows, TV and radio interviews, and full “standards weeks” around mid October.
How Does the U.S. Mark This Day?
Each October in Washington, DC, members of the U.S. standardization community gather with other leaders in business, industry and government for a U.S. World Standards Day exhibit, reception and dinner gala. During the dinner ceremony the Ronald Brown Standards Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership in promoting the important role of standardization in eliminating global barriers to trade. Awards are also presented to the winners of the World Standards Day Paper Competition, which is designed to raise awareness of the importance of standards, as well as present various perspectives on national and international standards and conformity assessment issues.
Who Sponsors World Standards Day in the U.S.?
In the U.S., World Standards Day is a joint effort between the private and public sector. This year’s World Standards Day events were coordinated and funded by the World Standards Day Committee, consisting of representatives from more than 25 major companies, professional and technical societies, trade associations, standards developing organizations and government agencies. The co-chairs of the World Standards Day Committee are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Why is U.S. Recognition of World Standards Day Important?
World Standards Day presents the American business community with an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the important role standards play in increasing U.S. competitiveness. In today’s changing economy, industry, government, standards developing organizations, and other groups need to work together to ensure that U.S. products and services are accepted in the global marketplace, thereby enhancing U.S. leadership abroad. World Standards Day provides the U.S. with the forum to build on such relationships.
What is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)?
ANSI is a private nonprofit membership organization that coordinates the U.S. voluntary standards system, bringing together interests from the private and public sectors to develop voluntary standards for a wide array of U.S. industries. The Institute’s membership includes approximately 1,100 national and international companies, government agencies, and professional, technical, trade, labor, and consumer organizations. ANSI is the official U.S. member body to the world’s leading standards bodies – the ISO and the IEC via the U.S. National Committee. www.ansi.org
What is the National institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)?
NIST is a non-regulatory agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration. Formerly known as the National Bureau of Standards, NIST promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurement, and standards. www.nist.gov
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