To explore how the U.S. can further enhance its leadership in technical standards—which have an expanding role in society, innovation, and global competitiveness—Mary Saunders, vice president of government relations at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), joined distinguished panelists to provide testimony at a March 17 hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology. She spoke about the importance of the public-private partnership that underpins the U.S. standardization system and offered recommendations on how to ensure continued strength and influence in international standardization, particularly in emerging technologies.
“The pace of change of critical and emerging technologies—including AI, biotechnology, and quantum information science—is ever-increasing,” noted Saunders. “As competition for technology-driven advantages intensifies, the need for globally accepted standards is greater than ever. An open, rules-based standards system that reflects changing global marketplace needs is key. And maintaining the integrity and impartiality of international standards development processes remains a priority.”
To ensure continued U.S. global leadership in standards development for critical and emerging technologies, Saunders noted that a long-term, proactive approach is needed. She shared ANSI’s recommendation that such an approach should encompass a sustained investment in R&D; expanded coordination among government, industry, and academia; expanded collaborations among U.S. government and likeminded partners; and a commitment to industry-led standards development processes.
“ANSI urges the U.S. government to redouble its commitment to industry-led standards by supporting and advancing widely accepted principles for the development of international standards and continuing to incentivize U.S. stakeholders’ participation in international standards-setting venues,” said Saunders. “We also call for the expansion of public-private partnerships for standards-related education and training. Finally, we also urge a consistent approach to the treatment of standards in government-to-government dialogues—and coordination with the private sector on messaging.”
“ANSI stands ready to assist this Subcommittee and its parent Committee in further deliberations on the U.S. standardization system and our public-private partnership,” noted Saunders.
Saunders joined witnesses Dr. James K. Olthoff, Acting Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Dr. Alissa Cooper, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Technology Policy and Cisco Fellow, Cisco Systems Inc., and Andrew Updegrove, ANSI Board Member and Partner, Gesmer Upegrove LLP.
Access the full testimony, on-demand video, and individual statements: Setting the Standards: Strengthening U.S. Leadership in Technical Standards.