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German Standardization Panel (DNP) - report on indicators 2019

Based on representative data of German companies engaged in standardization and, increasingly, companies that only apply standards, this indicator report of the German Standardization Panel (German: Deutsches Normungspanel, acronym “DNP”) provides information on several aspects of standardization.

The contribution of innovations to the competitiveness of businesses, as well as to other entrepreneurial dimensions, is undisputed. However, the benefits of standardization and the application of standards have not yet been fully recognized as a significant influencing factor – not least due to a lack of empirical investigations in this area. For this reason, the German Standardization Panel was set up in autumn 2011 by the German Society for the Promotion of Research on Standardization (FNS).

The FNS helped to promote research on topics and questions related to standardization in order to make qualitative assessments of aspects regarding standardization policy. Since 2019, the project is directly financed and supported by DIN and DKE. For the DNP, annual surveys are carried out to collect data on standardization activities and the application of standards by companies, which is then used to examine the impact of standardization and standards on various economic and social dimensions.

Such a systematic analysis requires reliable, detailed data which is collected through surveys carried out among the same economic players (persons or companies) on the same topic and over time. So-called panel data is particularly crucial for the exploration of the complex effects of standardization processes and the application of formal and informal standards on business success. Data from multiple survey waves were combined to establish a panel data set. Based on this unique data, insights were gained on changes in standardization activities and the application of formal and informal standards over time.

The report furthermore includes a special section with focus on standards and public law:

Based on the New Approach and the New Legislative Framework, EU guidelines and regulations can set essential requirements that are of public interest and leave the definition of technical solutions to "harmonized standards". When manufacturers apply these harmonized standards, conformity with the requirements of guidelines or regulations is presumed. Standards however remain voluntary recommendations, as manufacturers are free to diverge from them and document conformity in other ways. There are also cases where national law references (formal) standards (e.g. the German product safety law). As on EU level, the application of referenced standards is mostly voluntary, but applicants can benefit from the presumption of conformity.

Against this background, the special section deals with the difference in perception and participation of standards & standardization and public law & legislation.

Read report: German, English


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