Standards: SBS Annual event on SMEs and the data economy

On 29 September, Small Business Standards (SBS), the European organization representing SMEs in the standardization community, held its annual event, this year dedicated to “How can standards support SMEs to benefit from the data economy?”.

Data access, management and sharing between different players in the value chain and across sectors offers tremendous potential in the creation of innovative products and services, which makes the building of the data economy key to achieve a digital Europe, a vital priority of the European Commission.

However, accessing the data economy is still a major challenge for SMEs, especially in the construction sector. In this context, standardisation could play a key role to overcome market barriers.

In the first panel, titled “How can standards contribute to a fair access to data?”, Professor Jakob Beetz from the RWTH Aachen University intervened on behalf of the Horizon 2020 project BIM4Ren, which aims to boosting the renovation rate in EU through a set of easy-to-use BIM tools dedicated to collaborative construction energy renovation works.

Professor Beetz pin-pointed the basic data-related challenges faced by companies in the construction sector, especially SMEs :
·      The majority of European buildings are not recent
·      Construction relies on very long value-chains
·      There is too often a lack of data
·      The data available is often old, wrong and/or incomplete
·      Too much heterogeneity in data management systems allows little to no interoperability
·      Construction has a real need for digital literacy

The second panel discussed how to ensure cybersecurity without jeopardising the data economy. 

This event facilitated a needed discussion among European Institutions, SMEs, standardisation organisations, as well as other key stakeholders, on how standards can help remove the barriers that prevent small players from exploiting the full potential of the data economy or even from being able to trade at all. 

EBC is a member of SBS and the coordinator of its sectoral approach for construction, while also being a BIM4Ren project partner.

For more information about Small Business Standards, visit

For more information on the BIM4REN project, visit