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Advancing U.S. Leadership in Critical Technologies through Standards


In keynote, ANSI's S. Joe Bhatia Addresses Standardization's Reach Across Technologies, including AI, 5G, and unmanned aircraft systems

From protecting the health and safety of citizens, to driving new and emerging technologies and facilitating trade, ANSI's president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia highlighted the power of standardization and conformity assessment during his keynote address at the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) State of the Defense Standardization Program Virtual Conference on October 14, 2020. He recognized how active ANSI collaboratives, driven by the support of public- and private-sector experts, help advance U.S. leadership in critical technologies, including AI, 5G, and UAS.

Mr. Bhatia joined the 2020 State of the Defense Standardization Program (DSP) Conference, which took place over two days via online sessions that included standardization stakeholders from around the globe. He started his session with powerful statistics: There are more than 100,000 standards in the U.S. developed by about 500 standards developing organizations – or SDOs – and hundreds of consortia. Moreover, in action, standardization's reach has a tremendous impact: The U.S. Department of Commerce statistics reveal that 93% of global goods exports rely on conformance to standards. "The bottom line is: standardization is at the heart of U.S. competitiveness, prosperity, and quality of life," Mr. Bhatia noted.

The keynote session also addressed collaborative standardization initiatives that have powerful, real-world impact on growing sectors, such as 5G, AI, and unmanned aircraft systems.

Supporting Safe Integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

ANSI's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative – also known as the UASSC – is largely focused on commercial, civil, and public safety uses of drones, and is also relevant to DoD and the defense community. Mr. Bhatia shared how in June, the collaborative published Version 2 of its standardization roadmap to facilitate the safe and effective integration of drones into the national airspace. Earlier this year, ANSI participated alongside standards developing organizations, the DoD, and defense agencies at a NATO workshop in Athens that focused on bridging the gap between NATO's use of military specifications and SDO civil standards.

"We're thrilled to see the roadmap widely recognized by industry and government as being of vital importance to enabling the rapidly evolving capability of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones," he noted.

Strategic Approach to 5G Standardization

Within the 5G space, Mr. Bhatia provided insights on ANSI's work with its members and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) in several critical areas:

  • working to leverage collective interests to shape the strategy called for in the 2020 Secure 5G and Beyond Act—launched by the president—and the related implementation plan,
  • advocating for greater interagency coordination and enhanced partnerships between the public and private sectors in standardization, and
  • seeking public-private sector agreement on a strategic U.S. approach to 5G standardization.

The Next Chapter in AI in Health Care

To support AI and its growing applications in health care, ANSI recently convened a virtual workshop to identify challenges, barriers, and gaps and to discuss steps to optimize regulatory frameworks. The workshop examined issues surrounding data, transparency and explainability, and governance and risk management. Mr. Bhatia noted that ANSI is planning a workshop in 2021 to develop recommendations for coordination of standardization and governance to meet expectations of safety, quality, responsibility, and risk.

China's Role in Standardization

On a global level, Mr. Bhatia reflected on how China has signaled its interest in assuming greater leadership in standardization and in key technologies like AI, quantum computing, and 5G. Mr. Bhatia emphasized how, on many fronts, ANSI works with U.S. stakeholders and Chinese counterparts to encourage China’s constructive participation in the development of international standards based on globally accepted WTO principles. This, in turn, he noted, will lead to the continual development of high-quality, competitive products and services that benefit the global market.

“Standards processes that are open, balanced, transparent, and based on consensus, are more likely to produce standards that can be applied globally and facilitate fair international trade,” noted Mr. Bhatia.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]