A smart organization for a smarter world

IEC President addresses Council

By Zoë Smart

Addressing Council for the first time as IEC President, Junji Nomura expressed his pleasure at doing so in his home country, Japan. Satisfied with the state of the organization which he described as ‘strong and healthy’ with a ‘truly global reach’, he nonetheless emphasized the need for the IEC to continue to improve its services while keeping up with the fast-changing global market.

Nomura council IEC President Junji Nomura addresses Council at the 2014 GM

Greater than the sum of its parts

The President made a point of reminding those present that the IEC is a truly global organization comprising not only of the staff at IEC offices but also National Committees, Technical Committees, the Conformity Assessment Systems, Affiliate countries and the Young Professionals. It is thanks to the thousands of individuals who believe in its value that the organization is as successful as it is and each and every one of those has an important role to play in ensuring the continued success of the IEC.

Providing a home for new technologies

Referring to the core objectives he set out for his time as IEC President at last year’s General Meeting in New Delhi, Nomura noted that one was already well on its way to being accomplished. The amendments to the IEC Statutes and Rules of Procedure will ensure that the activities of the increasingly-popular Conformity Assessment Systems continue to be carried out successfully and securely.

Of paramount importance is the need to embrace and provide a “home” for emerging technologies. The MSB (Market Strategy Board) has an important role to play in reaching this objective through the development of White Papers and Technology Papers. The high-level documents set IEC strategy and define priorities for addressing specific emerging technologies.

While electrical safety remains one of the pillars of the IEC, today the organization is known for its work in a whole array of technologies, from nanotechnologies and white goods to complete transportation infrastructures and energy systems. These are the technologies that provide the backbone of the ‘smarter world’ towards which we are heading.

A crucial role

As the leading global organization for electrotechnology, it is the IEC role and responsibility to provide a platform and support the activities that will make this smarter world a reality. IEC work will provide the crucial quality and performance metrics for these technologies while ensuring interoperability and providing the base line for innovation. However, Nomura pointed out this is no easy feat. As he said “Smart technology blurs the boundaries between industries and the scale of the challenges we are looking at today far outreach those of yesterday.”

Smart Cities for example are hugely complex systems and ensuring the safety, interoperability and reliability of the thousands of components and devices that make them up is an enormous task that no single organization can undertake on its own.

Systems approach provides a collaborative platform

In order for the challenges posed by such complex systems to be addressed effectively, experts from many different organizations and areas of industry will have to share their view-points and knowledge. IEC Systems Evaluation Groups provide an independent and collaborative platform for all interested parties to work together. Here, objectives can be defined, global needs identified and the division of work can be determined. The aim is to avoid duplication and to ensure that the expertise of each organization is respected and put to use in the best possible way.

Expanding industry alliances

The second core objective that Nomura wanted to bring to participants’ attention was the need to maintain existing strong relations with industry while continuing to identify key players.

With electrotechnology being such an integral part of both traditional and emerging technologies, the number of industry players that can benefit from the IEC’s tools, processes and expertise is constantly growing. “Making our value proposition known to industry and other relevant stakeholders who can benefit from our work is a crucial activity” he said, while pointing out that participation in IEC work should be part of the strategic business plan of any organization dealing with electrotechnology.

A call to action

Nomura concluded his speech by acknowledging that reaching the right people at the right time is by no means an easy task. Referencing a Japanese saying, drops of water will drill through a stone, he expressed his confidence that the concerted efforts of all those who make up the IEC family can bring about the desired results. The IEC President’s speech ended with a call to action “Together we can make a difference and I count on your support to do that. Thank you.”

Nomura council IEC President Junji Nomura addresses Council at the 2014 GM
istock world map The IEC is thriving thanks to the work of thousands of individuals around the globe
handshake Maintaining and nurturing ties with industry is key for the organization's future