Small Business Standards (SBS) is a European association established with the support of the European Commission to represent SMEs in the standard making process at European and international levels.
The SBS team is made up of a Director and two staff members, as well as staff from UEAPME (the European Association of Crafts and SMEs) and EBC. SBS members are national and European sectoral and inter-professional associations representing SMEs all over Europe.
At the end of 2012, the European Institutions adopted Regulation 1025/2012 to reorganise overall rules regarding the European standardisation process. According to this Regulation, the three European Standardisation Organisations - namely CEN (the European Standardisation Committee), CENELEC (the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation) and ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) - must encourage an appropriate representation of all relevant stakeholders, including SMEs. The European Commission also committed to financially and politically supporting the establishment of key stakeholders’ associations lacking representation in the standardisation system.
Consequently, in May 2013, the Commission published a call for proposal aimed at granting European funds to such an association. The call was eventually won by a consortium created by UEAPME and EBC. Small Business Standards (SBS) was therefore created ad hoc in 2013 to meet the European Union’s aspiration to make the standardisation system as inclusive, transparent and open as possible, by strengthening the participation of “weak” stakeholders such as SMEs.
The SBS mission is to represent and defend SME interests in the standardisation system at European and international level. Moreover, it aims at raising SME awareness about the benefits of standards and at encouraging them to get involved in the standardisation process.
To reach these goals, SBS has appointed several experts to take part in the work of CEN-CENELEC and ISO Technical Committees so as to directly contribute to the creation of standards. The experts will therefore promote a better adaptation of standards to fit SME needs.
Finally, SBS will consult and keep its members informed about Internal Market policies related to standardisation issues affecting SMEs.
The European Builders Confederation is therefore project partner and coordinator for the policies related to the construction sector.
Two of the SBS construction-sector experts are from EBC. Expert Riccardo Viaggi follows standardisation activities on energy performance of buildings (CEN TC 371), whereas expert Guido Sabatini follows standardisation developments of Building Information Modelling (CEN TC 442).
EBC also sits on the Standing Committee on Construction, which was set up by the Construction Products Regulation.
To know more about standardisation activities in construction have a look at Smart Standardisation for construction SMEs booklet.