Sector standardisation for innovation refers to the process of developing and implementing specific standards governing the use and application of research, development, and new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI). The objective of sector standardisation is to ensure that these scientific advances and new technologies are developed and used in a safe, ethical, and beneficial way for society. One of the main benefits of sector standardisation is that it helps to promote innovation by providing a clear and predictable regulatory framework for the development and use of new technologies. This allows companies, especially start-ups, to make informed decisions about how to develop and use these technologies without fear of coming into conflict with uncertain or restrictive regulations.
Overall, sector standardisation is an important aspect of ensuring that the development and use of new technologies is safe, ethical, and beneficial to society. The National Innovation Agency is committed to promoting sector standardisation.
Technical Commission 169
ANI - National Agency for Innovation is the sector standardisation body of the Portuguese standardisation system (ONS.ANI), which coordinates and monitors the operation and activities of Technical Commission 169 (CT 169), created in 2007 by the National Standardisation Body (ONN - Organismo de Normalização Nacional) - Portuguese Quality Institute (IPQ - Instituto Português da Qualidade).
Through CT 169, the ONS.ANI analyses existing standards in other countries as part of Research, Development and Innovation activities, expressing its vote for the standardisation activities developed by European and international authorities. On a national level, it assesses the clarity and coherence of standards, both in the creation and development of new Portuguese standards in its areas of operation and in updating already existing standards.
ANI is in constant collaboration with IPQ regarding voting activities, selection of experts for committees or inclusion/amendment of information necessary for the normative practice in the various platforms. It also manages and updates the archive on the IPQ Memento platform and preserves the documentation useful for the practice of sector standardisation. ONS.ANI monitors and approves CT 169's activity plan and reports to the ONN.
Technical Commission 169 develops standardisation activities as part of Research, Development, and Innovation activities, in order to promote voluntary participation of parties interested in these topics and to ensure a balanced representation of currently relevant scientific, technological and economic interests.
This technical body aims to ensure the preparation of documents and the issue of normative opinions, in accordance with the rules and procedures in force in the field of Portuguese standardisation and ensuring their alignment with the best international practices, as well as the production of Portuguese standards, highlighting NP 4456-2007 - Research, Development and Innovation Management - Terminology and activities definition, NP 4457:2007 and, more recently, NP 56002 - Innovation Management System - Guidance.
CT 169 actively participates in the work of Technical Commission 389 of the CEN - European Committee for Standardisation and with the different working groups of the ISO - International Standardization Organization, namely through Technical Commission 279.
ANI's role is to manage, assist and monitor Technical Commission 169, chaired by Dr. Isabel Caetano, and notify IPQ of any information in order to ensure the regular functioning of the regulatory activity in these matters.
Artificial Intelligence Technical Committee
The Portuguese Institute for Quality (IPQ), as the national standardisation body (ONN), which has delegated to ANI - National Innovation Agency the responsibility of monitoring the AI Technical Standardisation Committee. During this year the preparatory work has kicked off and National Innovation Agency joins the ISO committee/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 to develop and enforce standards governing the use and applications of artificial intelligence. Where the main goal is to publish different AI standards by 2023.
The main objective is to ensure that regulation does not go through the innovation bottleneck and that regulatory intervention is proportionate to the type of risk associated with the use of an AI system.
The Technical Committee for AI Standardisation is composed of the main agents of national innovation such as Unbabel, Feedzai, Champalimaud Foundation, Altice, Instituto Superior Técnico among others - from academia to the business world through start-ups. In order not to jeopardise the competitiveness of those working in high-risk AI due to the lack of clarity and unpredictability of these issues at international level.
Allowing these players, the knowledge and anticipated standardisation patterns to benefit from a softer transition period, giving start-ups and companies more time to adapt. Nevertheless, until these standards are developed and implemented, start-ups and SMEs will face the challenges of identifying, acquiring access to or licences that prove their compliance with the law. Helping to ensure that these new regulations are not a barrier to the already challenging activity of national start-ups.
Watch Innovation Talk #19 on 'Measuring and Evaluating the Contributions of Innovation: Perks and Challenges'.