The project has a focus on standardization and aims to align with existing standards as much as possible in the development of the platform and the sharing of data and information. However, the project does not adhere to a specific standard or follow a strict standardization direction. Instead, the project collaborates with organizations that have experience in standardization, such as industry associations, like the European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA). By working with these associations, the project can participate in standard-related working groups more easily, as opposed to the stricter rules and processes of SDOs. As part of the Digital Manufacturing Projects cluster under EFFRA, the project participates in CEN-CENELEC standardization workshops, including a workshop on ZDM terminology. The impact of the workshop on the project is expected to be minimal as ZDM is not directly related to the core goals of the project. Additionally, the project is involved in discussions about the emerging concept of product passports: it has provided input to the European Battery Association and the European Commission on the European Digital Product Passport. They also offered guidelines for circular economy dataspaces in a white paper for the Industrial Data Spaces Association and the OPEN DEI project.
Regarding standardization, the project anticipates that its efforts will result in contributions to the development of reference implementations for product passports and dataspaces for the circular economy. Additionally, the project expects to have an impact on the individual components of its digital platform that follow specific standards. By adhering to these standards, the project aims to improve the sustainability of the data on the platform, for example, in areas such as life cycle assessment and predictive asset management. Overall, these inputs on standardisation will help to improve the efficiency and interoperability of the developed digital platform. With respect to its standardization activities, the project has identified the following elements of good practice:
- Including an SDO in the consortium or, if not, a partner with strong connections to SDOs. This is crucial for successful standardization work, as it allows the project to work on the target standards in a focused and effective way and eliminates the need for extensive exploratory processes for understanding the relevant standardization processes and establishing the required connections;
- Focusing on a limited number of standards (e.g. one or two). This is essential for being effective given the limited standardization resources typically available in EU-funded projects.
- The project highlighted the importance of focused work on specific standards instead of trying to engage with too many standards and SDOs;
- Ensuring regular bilateral communication between the project and the SDO throughout the project's life cycle. This is important for addressing the challenges associated with aligning project timelines with the standardization process;
- Given the vast number of technology-related standards, projects would greatly benefit from services that help them identify the most appropriate SDOs for their standardization tasks. Such a service could assist projects in coping with standard fragmentation and avoiding overlaps.