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the innovation game

Innovation economics professor Knut Blind tells us why standards are key to surviving in a highly complex 21st-century global economy. innovation and standardization might seem polar opposites, but over many years various scholars have noted connections – very close ones, even – between the two. ISOfocus sat down with renowned researcher and Professor Knut Blind to discuss the relationship – and “rules of the game” – and provide insights into how this knowledge can be useful to scholars, industrial strategists, policymakers and standards practitioners alike

What can be done to change the perception that standards are rigid and stifle innovation?

It’s important to present standards as dynamic documents that reflect the timely continuous progress of science and technology. In particular, frequent checks must be conducted to adapt the existing body of standards and even withdraw standards if they no longer reflect the state of the art in science and technology. While this is already being done to some extent, the incentives to keep the body of standards agile in the context of an increasingly dynamic environment may still need to be improved. For example, in the case of new emerging technologies, it might be worth having competing standards for a while until the superior one naturally takes the lead