IEC work on stage

Demonstrating why your contributions are important

By Gabriela Ehrlich

Throughout the year, IEC officers and senior management participate in a large number of strategic events and meetings all over the globe. Their aim is to raise awareness and increase understanding of the importance of IEC work; the positive impact it has on global trade and the help it provides in addressing the energy challenge.

Jacques Régis speaking at World Electronics Forum 2011 Jacques Régis speaking at World Electronics Forum 2011

IEC present at strategic events and meetings

The presentations that IEC management and senior officers give to professional and lay audiences at strategic events and meetings around the world have a number of focuses. They explain how the IEC enables global trade and allows companies to do business more efficiently and at lower cost; why IEC work provides the technical foundation for energy efficiency and helps reduce standby energy consumption; and why IEC know-how and initiatives are important for the Smart Grid and support the roll-out of EVs (Electric Vehicles). IEC officers also participate in major meetings of partner organizations and help celebrate important member events. Here are some highlights of the last year:

Smart electrification – addressing the energy challenge


Following the launch of the IEC White Paper "Coping with the Energy Challenge: the IEC's role from 2010 to 2030" at the World Energy Congress in Montreal in September 2010, the IEC presented its vision of smart electrification at major congresses all around the world.

[Full article in e-tech October 2010]


At the G20 Summit in Korea, the IEC described how its international experts, who come from all over the world, can contribute to addressing the energy challenge by providing a solid technical foundation for all energy efficiency projects.

[Full article in e-tech December 2010]


At COP (Conference of the Parties) 16 in Cancun, Mexico, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the IEC was invited to talk about its vision during an informal gathering of world economic leaders from India, the United States, China, South Africa, the Republic of Korea and the European Union that was hosted by the WEF (World Economic Forum).

[Full article in e-tech December 2010]

High-tech and Global Trade


Energy efficiency and smart electrification are not the only topics the IEC has addressed before major audiences. At the World Electronics Forum, the IEC spoke to electronics leaders from 22 countries, underlining the importance of International Standards for aiding innovation and global trade in electronics. The Forum was hosted by CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) and took place in parallel with CES® (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, US (United States) in January 2011.

[Full article in e-tech January/February 2011]


At the end of March, IEC President Klaus Wucherer was invited by ABINEE, who organizes  the key electronics industry event in South America, to deliver a keynote speech and inform 500 guests drawn from industry and government about IEC contributions to global trade in high-tech electronics. ABINEE represents more than 650 national and international companies that participate in its activities.

[Full article in e-tech May 2011]

Electric Vehicles


In January 2011, the IEC and e8, a global organization of 10 world-leading electricity companies, organized the first strategic round table to bring together all major global automotive manufacturers, electric equipment suppliers and utilities, co-ordinating their work around EVs (Electric Vehicles) (see detailed article on EVs in this e-tech).

[Full article e-tech January-February 2011]


During the 6th WSC (World Standards Cooperation) "Fully Networked Car" workshop at the Geneva International Motor Show, the IEC underlined the importance of International Standards for the successful roll-out of EVs.

[Full article in e-tech April 2011]


In June, IEC Immediate Past President Régis and former IEC Vice-President Kitzantides attended the e8 UN-Energy Summit in New York City. Their participation at the event allowed the IEC to raise the visibility of its engagement for improved energy accessibility and its work towards a global roll-out of EVs. In a joint statement, distributed to more than 200 participants at the Summit, the IEC and e8 were able to highlight the promising outcomes of the strategic round table that they had organized jointly in January.

[Full article News log June 2011]

Smart Grid

The Smart Grid represents the essence of the IEC's business and is one of the first areas in which a systems approach to standardization is being put in place. It is therefore not surprising that the IEC participates in a large number of Smart Grid events and forums throughout the year.


One of the key events in this field is GridWeek. This takes place once a year in Washington DC and is sponsored by the IEC. The aim of this endorsing partnership is to increase awareness about IEC work in the area of Smart Grids and to stimulate global cooperation and standardization in this area.

[Full article in e-tech November 2010]



The Academic Day organized by WSC (World Standards Cooperation), which was established in 2001 by the IEC, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union), took place this year in Hangzhou, China, in June 2011 in conjunction with the ICES (International Cooperation on Education and Standardization) workshop. At the event, the IEC was able to network with key people involved in research, business and intellectual property in academic institutions from around the world. The objective of Academic Day is to raise the profile of standardization among students, young professionals and future business leaders in collaboration with their teaching staff.

[Full article in e-tech August/September 2011]

Important regional events


The IEC was invited by the US Department of Commerce and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) to participate in a round table event entitled "Challenges in Engaging Regulators and other Stakeholders in Standards Development and Use". This took place in March 2011 at the 6th Conference on GRP (Good Regulatory Practice), which was held in Washington DC. The round table session focused on how to promote standardization activities, how to attract regular participation in standards development and, more generally, how to increase participation from APEC member countries. The platform provided a good opportunity to explain the IEC consensus-based process of standards development.

[Detailed article in e-tech May 2011]


In March, Former IEC Vice-President Frank Kitzantides participated in the annual meeting of CANENA (Council for the Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas) in San Antonio, Texas.

Kitzantides provided an update to key IEC topics and activities and underlined the need for a focused effort to involve, at an early stage of their career, those who will become tomorrow's experts in the world of standardization. He spoke about IEC efforts in this area, notably the Young Professionals' Programme, which provides participants with an international networking platform and allows them to exchange ideas and get involved in shaping the future of international standardization and conformity assessment.

[Full article in e-tech April 2011]


IEC General Secretary and CEO Ronnie Amit and IEC Vice-President and SMB Chairman Jim Matthews were present at the COPANT (Pan American Standards Commission) General Assembly in May in Santiago, Chile. The two-day event brought together 74 delegates from the Americas; they came from public and private sector standardization organizations and represented 18 COPANT member states. The IEC updated stakeholders from this increasingly important region of the world about key IEC activities and the Affiliate Country Programme.

The energy efficiency workshop that was hosted by INN (the Chilean National Institute of Normalization) in conjunction with the COPANT General Assembly, attracted an important number of local participants and achieved good media coverage, notably regarding Matthews' presentations on IEC work in the area of energy efficiency.

[Full article in e-tech June 2011]


In May, Immediate Past President Jacques Régis spoke at the 39th session of the EASC (EuroAsian Interstate Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification) in Avaza, Turkmenistan. The Caucasus and Central Asia regions are in the process of building up their industrial infrastructures; in his keynote address, Régis was able to explain how IEC International Standards and CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems can help in this task while also reducing barriers to export. Régis' visit to Turkmenistan and outline of the Affiliate Country Programme in Russian at the event resulted in an additional positive outcome: it convinced Azerbaijan to join the Programme.

[Full articles in e-tech June and August/September 2011]


In March, Dennis Chew represented the IEC at PASC (Pacific Area Standards Congress), which held its 34th meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. Chew updated the 24 PASC members present at the event on IEC work, including in the areas of EVs and Smart Grids. He also underlined the growth of IEC CA Systems and informed members about the recent endorsement of IECEx by the United Nations via UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe).

The Commission has issued a "Common Regulatory Framework" for hazardous areas, recommending IECEx as the world's best-practice model for the verification of conformity to International Standards. The framework is ready for adoption by developed and developing nations and should allow widespread access to safer Ex equipment. This is an important step in helping to reduce explosion risks and better protect workers and populations, whatever the market size.

[Full article in e-tech May 2011]

Klaus Wucherer speaking at ABINEE Klaus Wucherer speaking at ABINEE
Jacques Régis speaking at World Electronics Forum 2011 Jacques Régis speaking at World Electronics Forum 2011
Enno Liess speaking at the 6th Fully Networked Car workshop in Geneva. Enno Liess speaking at the 6th Fully Networked Car workshop in Geneva.