During the session on financial services, moderator Karla McKenna, director at Citi, explained how financial services standards must set requirements for clear, consistent information and reliable communication. The session included insights from Heather Kreger of IBM, who noted that IBM is highly involved in standards activities and collaborates across the standards and regulatory arenas. She explained that blockchain provides a way to optimize business so that it runs in a smoother, faster, more trusted and reliable way, and stressed the need for regulators and standards developers to work together.
Rich Robinson, the head of industry relations and strategy for Open Symbology, Bloomberg, explained that in his industry, context matters, especially given different markets, systems, languages, and national and international standards. Conversion costs and politics are challenges, he noted. He stressed Financial Instrument Global Identifier (FIGI) challenges, noting that the data discipline is still young and there is a lack of serious expertise. In addition, there are still misconceptions in the industry as to what a standards organization is, and clarification would open up opportunities to get more involved in the standardization process concerning regulatory inclusions, certified providers, adoption, and maturity.
Kelvin Tan, the head of Fintech and Data, Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX), referenced a number of standards adopted in Singapore, including ISO 20022 and ISO 6166 (ISIN), adding that SGX plans to adopt several more ISO standards. He proposed an inter-ledger communications protocol, noting that while it may be too early for specific ledger standard.
Another panelist, Stanley Yong of Practical Smarts, discussed the disaggregation of financial services in developed markets. With so many service providers doing different things, he said, the challenge is how to build a new bank using smaller players. He added that marketplaces need global standards in a multitier model. There is a need to harmonize frameworks to operate together, with a governance framework, a functional framework, and technical architecture.
How Standards Can Launch Unmanned Aircraft Systems
To kick off the third session on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), moderator David Miller, the director of standards development, Global Industry Services, American Petroleum Institute (API), gave the audience a statistic signifying room for standardization work: "We have over 500,000 miles of pipeline [in the petroleum industry] - we need to send planes over it all once a month." He noted that with platforms offshore and refineries that require inspection, there are many opportunities to use UAS ("drones").
Sean Cassidy, the director of safety and regulatory affairs at Amazon Prime Air, noted how many standards already exist in other industries that can be adapted for UAS use, as delivery tools such as drones, evolve.
Phil Kenul, senior vice president, aviation and operations, Trivector Services, noted how access to airspace is an issue, as infrastructure has not kept up with the pace of technology. He noted the broad potential for UAS, including in marine monitoring and oil spill response - including amusing anecdotes about the "SnotBot" that has made whale research safer and more effective.
Tracy Lamb, vice president of regulatory and safety affairs and chief pilot for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), cited that the UAS global market is currently $11.3 billionand is expected to grow to $140 billion in 10 years. She noted that regulations are an integral part of moving the technology forward, and provided insight into AUVSI's collaboration on the "Know Before You Fly" campaign (www.knowbeforeyoufly.org), which has guidelines on how to fly safely and responsibly.
On behalf of emergency response, Philip J. Mattson, DHS Standards Executive, Director, Office of Standards, Capability Development Support Group, Science & Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), spoke about collaboration with NIST and ASTM International on standard test methods for response robots. He noted that the use of test methods have stimulated technology development and increased inter-agency collaboration.
Credibility and Quality of Service Providers through Conformity Assessment
Panelists at the conformity assessment session spoke about how it is extremely important to provide tangible results for meeting a standard. Moderator Dale Cyr, CEO, Inteleos, noted the concern that some professional communities are becoming skeptical of some less-effective standards and conformity assessments, and expert panelists provided additional insights into why reliable conformity assessment is necessary in their fields.
Graham Brent, CEO, National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), explained how third-party accreditation has a critical role to play to ensure quality certification. He noted how in Singapore, the approach to health and safety is tangible, especially in construction. NCCO currently has 10 certification programs accredited by ANSI [See more about ANSI accreditation]. Accredited certification helps get buy-in from employers/companies and governments. When certification is government mandated, he explained, programs proliferate. He emphasized that accreditation differentiates certifications of value and helps establish credibility.
Danny Kerr, vice president of quality management, TUV SUD, noted how the services sector in Singapore continues to grow and that service provision is an interconnected chain of departments, systems, and services. He explained that there is a need for many standards and conformance throughout this spectrum.
Michael Violette, director, American Certification Body, cited a number of standards and regulations related to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). He explained the importance of accreditation in his industry, noting how the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC )allows for cross-border acceptance of certifications.
QR codes is a technology area on the rise for e-payments in Singapore. Mr. Yong noted how Chinese companies are increasingly using QR codes in payment, but there are environmental and infrastructure challenges affecting accuracy and quality. He explained that standard codes, plus conformity testing of the reader applications, are critical.
A common thread that emerged in the conference discussions was the view that standards do not stifle innovation, unless developed prematurely; rather, they create a solid framework on which new technologies can advance. Especially for emerging industries, responsive standardization is a critical tool for fostering innovation while keeping safety at the forefront of development.