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IEC Centenary Challenge Winners Highlight Breadth of Standardization

New York, Dec 21, 2006

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has announced the winners of its IEC Centenary Challenge, a global competition for papers addressing the economic, business and social impact of International Standards. Organized in conjunction with the commission’s centennial celebration, the competition was open to anyone affiliated with an academic institution, including faculty members, lecturers, researchers, and teaching staff.

First place was awarded to a team from the Université III Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France, for a paper addressing the ties between standards, human vision, lighting, security and economic development. The paper studies how the absence of certain standards relating to human vision means that innovation in specific fields of urban lighting does not occur easily.

Due to the superior quality of the submitted papers, judges awarded a joint second prize to two groups. A team from the University of Colorado at Boulder took second place for a paper examining the relationship between technological advances spurred by entrepreneurs seeking personal gain and standards that use the intellectual property of entrepreneurial innovation for public good. A University of Tokyo team was also recognized for a paper studying the economic impact of international standardization.

Third prize went to an author from Toyo University in Japan for an essay examining why companies participate in standardization activities and patent pools when these activities may benefit their competitors.

The first, second, and third place winners received $15,000, $5,000 and $2,000 respectively. The winning papers, as well as others of outstanding merit, will be published in a special IEC commemorative publication, “International Standardization as a Strategic Tool.” The book is available for purchase from the IEC and its member bodies worldwide.

For additional information on the IEC Centenary Challenge prize-winning papers, please click here.

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