S. Joe Bhatia, president and CEO of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), together with Joseph Tretler, ANSI's vice president of international policy, co-hosted sessions at the recent joint Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT)-Pacifica Area Standards Conference (PASC) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) hosted the meetings on April 30-May 5.
Over 100 delegates representing COPANT and PASC members, international and regional organizations, and other guests attended the joint-meeting sessions, which were an opportunity for COPANT Working Groups (WGs) to meet with members to discuss their recent achievements and to discuss plans for progress. The overarching goal of the working groups is to support COPANT's 2017-2020 strategic priorities.
During the meeting, (see the full agenda) stakeholders determined that WG 1 on Building Capacity and WG 4 on Fostering and Strengthening Regional Collaboration and Cooperation will merge. WG 2 on Increasing Participation in International Work for Targeted Economic Areas will work to identify areas of overlap with WG 1 and WG 4. WG 3 on Promoting Effective Conformity Assessment Services will remain unchanged. All working groups will work to reduce the number of priorities in the 2017-2018 timeframe.
ANSI provided an overview of the current status of the Standards Alliance initiative. Noting the success of the Standards Alliance program now in its fourth year of implementation, ANSI staff highlighted recent events including those with Peru and Indonesia, as well as opportunities for future engagement with COPANT and PASC members.
Mr. Bhatia, who served two consecutive two-year terms as COPANT president, gave opening remarks. He is succeeded by Ricardo Fragoso of the Association Brasileira de Normas Tecnicas (ABNT).
Together with Mr. Tretler, Mr. Bhatia led a one-hour discussion that focused on the services sector, and highlighted ANSI's recent work in the growing area. Phil Piqueira, represented the ANSI Board Task Group (BTG) on services, while ASTM International, DGN (Mexico), BSJ (Jamaica), and INTECO (Costa Rica) provided country perspectives and shared experiences and success cases in the service economy sector.
Another special session focused on gathering input for greater participation in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) from countries in the region regarding the work plan between COPANT-FINCA-IEC LARC(IEC's Regional Office for Latin America). A final session focused on the COPANT adherent members and presented an opportunity for each of the adherent member country to provide a report on their recent activities of interest.
ANSI also met with representatives from Australia, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and the UK to address pertinent issues during the COPANT/PASC speed networking sessions.
On May 3, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) provided reports to during the joint morning session. See resolutions here, and a PASC report slide here.
Later, SCC led a COPANT-PASC joint session workshop entitled "Enabling Innovation through Standardization," which focused on the relationship between standardization and innovation as an engine of economic growth.
Presentations explored best practices for developing international standards for new and emerging technologies to enable faster commercialization and market access. Sessions also served to also help participants develop a better understanding of how to identify and support innovation by guiding stakeholders through the international standardization system; how member organizations can position innovation and standardization as key drivers of their national economic priorities; how to reach out and engage key innovators and stakeholders; and how to mobilize innovators to engage in the standardization system to compete and have greater market access on the global stage.
The next COPANT meeting is scheduled for April 2018, and will be hosted by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) in Kingston, Jamaica. The next PASC meeting will take place on May 15-19, and will be hosted by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC) in Okayama City, Japan.