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ANSI ANNUAL REPORT
2022–2023

Innovation and Impact

ANSI ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS

Here, you'll find an overview of some of ANSI's notable accomplishments over the past year, driving responsive solutions and enhancing the critical work being done across the standardization system. Explore the included links and resources to learn more about how we're working with our members and partners to respond to change and fuel innovation for U.S. competitiveness and quality of life.

Logo of the American National Standards Institute ANSI

Navigating Change for THE Standardization System OF Tomorrow 

TALKING ABOUT AN EVOLUTION

In 2022 the ANSI Board of Directors launched an effort to identify opportunities and challenges presented by the evolving standards landscape. Following a year of extensive work by Board Focus Groups to assess needs and propose actions, in 2023 the Focus Group leads aligned on an overarching, comprehensive recommendation: ANSI should launch an institute-wide campaign to educate and raise awareness about the urgent challenges to the standardization system due to the increasing politicization of standards and inform stakeholders about how to partner with ANSI and the standards community to address concerns.

A set of recommended actions were identified that are intended to:

  • Educate and raise awareness on how to effectively leverage standards, noting that they should not be used as a “compete” tool for governments
  • Work collaboratively with policy makers to assure that their solutions to address shortcomings are directed to specific organizations where there are genuine issues that have not been or cannot be resolved
  • Assure that standards’ organizations safeguards (i.e., procedures, policies, controls) are continually reviewed and pressure-tested so they remain fit for purpose

ANSI has initiated these efforts, working with our members and partners to assure the integrity and efficacy of our system and drive the collaboration and resilience needed to thrive in a changing standards landscape. Stay tuned to ANSI news for updates on progress.

"Immediate action is needed to address the effects of the politicization of standards and related standards processes, and to halt the undermining of confidence in technical standards activities.”
—ANSI Board Focus Groups to Address the Evolving Standards Landscape

The Future Is Now!

Rapid technology advancements are changing society in immeasurable ways and driving business and job transformation in every industry. And among the hottest tech topics right now is generative AI. With the non-stop explosion of new applications, tools, and uses, it's literally everywhere—including at World Standards Week 2023. ANSI is hosting two special events focused on aspects of generative AI most relevant to our community right now: 

  • [Prompt]: Will Generative AI Rewrite the Future?—a series of interactive discussions exploring the potential, challenges, and risks of the transformative technology, and the important role for standards and regulations in supporting its responsible use.
  • ANSI Legal Issues Forum: Copyright Implications in a Changing Standards Landscape, focused on two hot topics for the standards community: the copyright implications of incorporating standards by reference into legislation (IBR) and of using AI in standards (and standards in AI). 

As stakeholders across the standardization community continually face new frontiers, ANSI is responding with targeted activities, events, and resources designed to identify common issues, share insights, and propose solutions for progress and innovation amid all the change. Access WSW event proceedings.

World Standards Week 2023
WSW

On Common Ground

Bringing diverse stakeholders together is at the heart of everything ANSI does, and it's fundamental to a flexible, open, and effective standardization system—particularly in such complicated, transformative times. World Standards Week 2023 was also the occasion for a conference on Synergies and Shared Interests in Standards, where ANSI-accredited standards developers, consortia, and other stakeholders shared their approaches and insights on common priorities, opportunities, and challenges. Through interactive discussions, participants from diverse sectors and forums explored how the standards community can best navigate a changing landscape, and what can be done collaboratively to assure the global standards infrastructure is protected. 

Access WSW event proceedings.

National Spotlight: Standards and Innovation

This year brought about a significant event for the standardization community: the federal government’s release of a National Standards Strategy (NSS) for Critical and Emerging Technology (CET). A first-of-its-kind document from the U.S. government, the NSS emphasizes the importance of increased U.S. engagement in international standards for CETs and U.S. government support for our private-sector-led system. 

ANSI president Joe Bhatia joined a panel at a White House Summit introducing the strategy, and spoke about the necessity of an open, rules-based standards system that fosters growth, innovation, and opportunity. The NSS recognizes and complements ANSI’s U.S. Standards Strategy and underscores ANSI's valuable partnership with NIST and other government departments and agencies.

In September NIST released a Request for Information to gather feedback on implementation of the NSS, and ANSI is coordinating a response based on input received from the standards community. We've begun plans to co-host a listening event with NIST in November 2023, and are committed to working with our community to assure that our private-sector-led, market-driven system continues to be well served.

Sharing Information on the Hill

What should Congressional staff know when drafting bills that impact standards development for critical and emerging technologies? The Institute brought this information to the Capitol this spring in an informational briefing: “Technology Standards: What They Are, Why They Matter, and What Congress Can Do.”

ANSI staff and members spoke with 40 congressional staff from the House and Senate, highlighting the diverse standardization organizations comprising the U.S. system, the current AI standards landscape, and the value of avoiding prescriptive legislative language in technology policy and standards. 

U.S. Capitol building

WHY IS CONGRESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT IN STANDARDS FOR CRITICAL AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IMPORTANT?

LEARN MORE >

We’re All Connected

An area of standards activity that has seen a lot of growth recently is automated and connected infrastructure—like smart communities and the Internet of Things. ANSI is actively responding to this movement, taking the lead in gathering input on structuring a standards information-sharing forum on this topic. Following a request by the Enduring Security Framework’s International Standards Study Group (ISG), we’ve reached out to our stakeholders to find out their current or planned standards activities surrounding this important topic.

If your organization is active in standards development for cybersecurity-related aspects of automated and connected infrastructure, let us know! Contact Mary Saunders, ANSI’s vice president of government relations and public policy, at [email protected].

 expanding education & Reaching New Stakeholders

Looking to Learn? Of Course!

One thing nearly everyone in the U.S. standards community agrees on is the need for increased capacity building of standardization participants through more effective and available education and training. ANSI has prioritized this goal and is continually improving and expanding our training courses for domestic and international standardization participants. The latest:

  • U.S. Delegates to International Activities: Roles and Responsibilities, an online course providing an understanding of the requirements for international standardization meetings, the roles and responsibilities of delegates, and how to best prepare for and conduct oneself at meetings, was updated for 2023 and is freely available anytime.
  • ANSI's Leadership Strategies and Skills course, freely available anytime, provides an overview of the most important characteristics a leader should possess and offers strategies to develop and hone these skills. 
  • A series of six complimentary webinars on the American National Standards (ANS) process hosted by ANSI in June 2023 had robust participation, and recordings will be posted for free viewing soon.
  • The USNC/IEC updated its training resources, designed to help assure that U.S. participants are well informed, prepared, and effective in electrotechnical standardization.
  • And ANSI's training webpage now provides access to all these courses, along with offerings from our affiliate ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) covering accreditation, certification, validation and verification, and credentialing, from one convenient place: Training Courses & Webinars (ansi.org).

Beyond our own growing collection, the Institute maintains a directory of standardization-community-wide educational resources to help other organizations share their knowledge and contribute to an informed, effective, and engaged U.S. standardization workforce for today and tomorrow.

A CLASS ACT: CONNECTING STUDENTS TO STANDARDS

One of the best ways to learn about standards is by getting first-hand information, straight from the source. A new initiative from the ANSI Committee on Education connects faculty and scholars around the country with standards experts to give students unique insights about working with standards and in the standardization system.

Launched in 2023, the Request a Speaker program invites professors/instructors at any U.S. post-secondary educational institution to submit a simple online form describing their areas of interest. Then ANSI connects the educator with the right expert to speak to their students about standards' impact on a technology, field, or sector, and to provide answers to questions about standards and conformity assessment activities directly relevant to their studies.

WHY TEACH STANDARDS?

Standards are at the very core of nearly every technology, industry, and innovation transforming society—but are often underrepresented in U.S. education.

We need today's students to become tomorrow's standardization leaders—not only to advance progress, safety, and quality of life, but to build a standards-literate workforce tuned into the opportunities standards knowledge and participation can open up.

CONSUMERS: GRAB A SEAT

Greater involvement in standards setting from individual consumers is a key to improving the safety of products. But while recognizing that importance, many standards developers and U.S. stakeholders report significant challenges to increasing consumer engagement in standardization. ANSI has recently launched a number of activities to reach consumers, encourage their engagement, and support their capacity to participate. 

  • Notably, an ongoing series of free webinars co-hosted by ANSI's consumer outreach manager and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's consumer ombudsman invites consumers to learn about standards development, the need for their participation, and ways to make a difference.
  • ANSI's Consumer Participation Fund is providing resources to support consumer participation in standards development.
  • And a growing collection of Q&As with leading consumer advocates is providing inspirational perspectives and concrete suggestions on how to get involved. The latest additions:
Infographic for consumer QA
Kathleen Thuner
Infographic for consumer QA
Rachel Weintraub

 SERVING MEMBERSHIP WITH INFORMATION, ACTIVITIES, & SOLUTIONS
 

ANSI MEMBERS: UNIQUE VIEWS, COMMON GOALS

Our Membership Teamand everyone at ANSIis always looking for new and better ways to engage and respond to priorities we hear from our constituents. We're reaching out and working in collaboration with our members, identifying areas where we can have the most impact, and initiating responsive activities and solutions to serve our community of innovators.

A POOL OF COOL RESOURCES

As the world continues to turn in new directions, the needs of ANSI's members are continually evolving too. The Institute is ramping up efforts to respond strategically and efficiently to changing needs, identifying and initiating the tools, resources, and solutions that will best serve an increasingly diverse and complex membership and standardization community. 

Do you have an idea for a tool or resource that would help with your work in standardization? Drop us a line at [email protected].

 COORDINATION & INTEGRITY IN u.S. STANDARDIZATION

Impartial & Collaborative

Among ANSI’s key roles in the U.S. standardization system, the Institute:

  • provides a neutral forum for coordination and identification of standards and conformity assessment needs in support of emerging technologies and national and global priorities; and
  • provides neutral oversight so that all interested parties have an opportunity to participate in the development of American National Standards.

These activities reflect the flexibility of the market-driven U.S. system and help to ensure its continued strength and impact in innovative standardization work.

 Active STANDARDS COLLABORATIVES & PANELS:

Infographic showing ANSI standards coordination activities.

The ANS Distinction Test

ANSI accredits standards developers and approves their documents as American National Standards (ANS) when they meet a set of due process requirements. The ANS designation is recognized by national and international stakeholders as the mark of an open and equitable standards development process, fostering acceptance and use of voluntary consensus standards and the overall strength of the U.S. system.

As the numbers below demonstrate, the ANS process supports capacity, responsiveness, and flexibility by capitalizing on the diverse expertise of many developers while creating assurances for the integrity of a consensus-based process that allows for all voices to be heard. 

Download the latest lists of approved and proposed ANS.

American National Standards numbers

MEASURING UP 

Determining how to measure and articulate the impacts of voluntary consensus standards on health and safety is a challenge that organizations across the standardization community face. In August 2023, ANSI and UL Standards & Engagement published a white paper, Principles for Measuring the Impact of Voluntary Consensus Standards on Human Health and Safety, developed by representatives of U.S. federal government agencies, standards developing organizations, and other stakeholders, that takes a holistic approach to calculating those benefits. The paper focuses on a set of concepts, frameworks, and considerations that can be used flexibly based on the scope, technical approach, industry, and users of the standard being assessed.

Measuring the Impact of Standards report cover

 INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP & REPRESENTATION

A World of Good

It has never been more important for the U.S. to demonstrate its commitment to the development of globally relevant standards, at both the policy and technical levels, as the numbers of international standardization activities and diverse participants increase. Robust and effective U.S. leadership and engagement in international technical activities is, as always, a priority for ANSI. 

The U.S. is among the most active members of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), with ANSI and its U.S. National Committee, respectively, representing our nation and cultivating leadership positions in these forums. As emerging technologies and other global factors drive rapid change, it's critical that U.S. interests double-down on engagement and support to maintain and expand on the impressive ISO and IEC activity levels you see in the tabs below. 

Meta-what? And Other Marvels

As the information age recedes in the rear-view screens of our autonomous vehicles and virtual offices, what comes next? Whatever it is, ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1 on Information technology will keep pace, with U.S. leadership as chair and ANSI as secretariat. More than 3,400 IT standards have been published by JTC 1 to date, and new efforts continually keep pace with rapidly emerging technologies.

In 2023 ISO/IEC JTC 1 held a webinar for a broad discussion of ISO and IEC standards related to the Metaverse—an immersive virtual world facilitated by VR and AR. Over the past 20 years, ISO and IEC have developed standards for imagery, audio, video, VR/AR/MR, and information technologies relevant to implementing Metaverse applications, and the June event provided insights into ongoing projects and opportunities for participation from various committees and working groups.

JTC 1 also recently established a new Subcommittee (SC) 44 on IT for Smart Cities, bringing the number of active JTC 1 SCs to 24, developing IT standards and guidelines that meet user needs, enhance global trade, and protect intellectual property.

IMPACT IN ISO

As international standardization activities continually expand in scope and participants across every industry, ANSI and our partners are working strategically to bolster U.S. influence, drive leadership and innovation, and share our expertise around the world.

Building on the robust activities highlighted above, a number of new work proposals were advanced within ISO this year covering a broad array of topics, including the sharing economy, circular economy, and sustainable finance. To encourage active U.S. engagement in these important activities, ANSI embarked on focused outreach efforts to affected U.S. stakeholders to gather comments on the proposals and identify interested parties to populate and lead U.S. Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). And ANSI expanded training offerings for U.S. TAG leaders in ISO and IEC so they can be even more effective contributors in international standardization.

USNC: ELECTRIFYING THE NEXT GENERATION

Among many advancements over the past year, the U.S. National Committee (USNC) of the IEC has expanded its programs to attract, inform, and support tomorrow's U.S. electrotechnical standardization experts and leaders—a key resource for our nation's innovation and competitiveness.

  • Running from September 2023 to June 2024, the new USNC Mentoring Program is designed to foster the growth of emerging standards and conformity assessment professionals by providing them the opportunity to enter into a one-on-one relationship with a more experienced member of the standards community for guidance in becoming a successful participant, expert, or leader in international electrotech standardization. 
  • The USNC Young and Emerging Professionals (YEP) Program, launched in 2022, continues to expand its role as a platform for active engagement among U.S. young and emerging professionals in electrotechnology standardization. A June 2023 webinar showcased opportunities for young and emerging professionals to get involved with the USNC and IEC. And World Standards Week in October 2023 featured an open discussion of action plans for strategic goals and next steps to implement the program.
  • Further enhancing these opportunities, the USNC has established a YEP and Protégé Engagement Program to provide support for new and existing YEPs and protégés to attend USNC management meetings in person. 
     
USNC Mentoring Program flyer

LEADERSHIP AND RECOGNITION IN ELECTROTECHNOLOGIES

In December 2022 the USNC announced that Veronica A. Lancaster, vice president of standards programs at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), was elected as USNC presidentthe first woman to ascend to this role. Another big announcement came in June 2023, when USNC member Robert (Bob) Sherwin was named the winner of the 2023 IEC Lord Kelvin Awardthe highest honor bestowed by the IEC. 

Veronica Lancaster,
USNC President

Bob Sherwin

BOB SHERWIN, IEC Lord Kelvin Award Winner

 PARTNERSHIP SOLUTIONS FOR TRADE & DEVELOPMENT

Bilateral BRIDGES

ANSI has built long-standing relationships with standards bodies and governmental entities around the globe and continually works to strengthen those connections, engage with new trading partners, and increase opportunities for U.S. industry and government.

Together with the USNC/IEC, the German Institute for Standardization (DIN), and the German Commission for Electrotechnical, Electronic, and Information Technologies of DIN and VDE (DKE), ANSI co-hosted the 2023 U.S.-German Standards Panel in Washington, DC. The hybrid event featured discussions on priorities and actions related to digital transformation and smart standards, climate change, artificial intelligence, and the U.S. and European standards strategies, as summarized in a report published by ANSI.

Continuing a 25-year dialogue, ANSI leadership met with counterparts from the European Standards Organizations (ESOs) in Brussels in 2023 to share perspectives, identify opportunities to cooperate on mutual priorities, and develop strategies for U.S-EU trade and competitiveness. With all the changes happening in the international standards landscape, it's more critical than ever that ANSI maintains its connections with ESO leadership and promotes the value of an open standards process aligned with WTO principles.

On the other side of the globe, ANSI and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) co-hosted the 2023 Korea-U.S. Standards Forum for the third time since 2021 for discussions of standards strategies and activities in the U.S. and Korea related to artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum technology, autonomous vehicles, and carbon neutrality. Held in Seoul with hybrid participation this year, the event established a platform for leaders and experts from both countries to enhance mutual understanding, exchange expertise and best practices, and foster cooperation.

WATCH FORUM VIDEO

U.S. German Standards Panel report cover

Progress for a Better World

ANSI provides opportunities for U.S. industry, government, and partners around the world to participate in international development activities that help developing countries implement international best practices and reduce unsafe or poor-quality products, services, and infrastructure.

ThStandards Alliance Phase 2 (SA2), a public-private partnership between ANSI and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), leads initiatives supporting the capacity of developing countries in the areas of standards and conformity assessment, good regulatory practices, and private-sector engagement across sectors and regions, including the following examples: 

  • In partnership with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), SA2 hosted virtual workshops and trainings with African water utilities in Zambia, Lesotho, and Malawi focused on AWWA Utility Management Standards in 2023. Participants reported on progress implementing best practices for utilities, developed action plans for achieving goals, and solidified plans for collaborative work going forward.
  • ANSI facilitated a training in Senegal with SA2 partners ASTM International and the American Petroleum Institute (API), as they implement a Petroleum Standards Harmonization Project in Sub-Saharan Africa, with participants from Nigeria, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. The project's goal is to increase awareness and understanding of relevant international standards for petroleum quality, safety, and management systems and their connections to World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.
  • The SA2 COVID-19 Medical Devices Regulatory Convergence (MDRC) project continued its efforts to reduce barriers to countries' importation of U.S. medical devices that aid in fighting COVID-19. Ten trainings have already taken place this year, reaching nearly 2,000 participants across three continents, with six more planned before the end of the year. A noteworthy two-week series of trainings in South Africa and Kenya in 2023 covered both the horizontal standards and good regulatory practices and the vertical medical regulatory convergence subject areas of the MDRC, an SA2 project spearheaded by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).

View SA2 project reports and information.

Beyond the Standards Alliance, ANSI's recent international development and capacity-building activities include the U.S.–Indo-Pacific Standards & Technology Cooperation Program (STCP), sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). ANSI has successfully completed this program in March 2023 with six hybrid or virtual technical workshops in the focused on priority topics for the region, including electric vehicles, cold chain, healthcare IT, and 6GHz Wi-Fi spectrum, etc. The U.S.–Indo-Pacific STCP convenes government officials and industry representatives from the U.S. and Indo-Pacific region to share important commercial and industrial standards information and practices. 

View STCP workshop information.

For the full range of ANSI's international development partnership activities, visit the ANSI Standards Portal: Standardization Resource for Global Trade.

ANSI international activities map

INNOVATION & IMPACT: ANSI ANNUAL REPORT 2022–2023