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Standards+Innovation Awards 2021

The 2021 edition of the CEN and CENELEC Standards+Innovation Awards was presented on Tuesday 5 October 2021 to celebrate and acknowledge the important contribution of research and innovation to standardization.

Nominations for these awards came from the CEN and CENELEC national members and represent success stories of combining innovation and standardization from all over Europe. This year, a total of 23 nominations from 13 different members were received: 9 in the Project category, 9 in the Individual Researcher category and 5 in the new Young Researcher category. The Project and Individual Researcher nominees were all assessed based on three criteria: link with standardization, impact for the sector in which they operate, impact on the society and environment. The Young Researcher nominees were all assessed on the following 4 criteria: weight of standardization in the overall project, originality of their project, impact of the related outcome and the potential for their research to serve as material to support members outreach to research organizations.

The winner of the ‘Project’ category is the SPIDIA4P project, represented by the coordinator Dr. Uwe Oelmüller (QIAGEN) and nominated by DIN. The SPIDIA4P project has received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 733112. Through the project, 16 new standards have been developed so far, with 6 more under development, addressing the pre-analytical workflows applied to personalized medicine. Standardization work has been carried out in CEN/TC 140 “In vitro diagnostic medical devices”, WG 3 “Quality management in the medical laboratory” and in ISO/TC 212/WG 4. Dr. Uwe Oelmüller shared his thoughts on the importance of standards: “Patient specimen can significantly alter after collection from the body, e.g. during transport, storage and processing. This is a major error source for wrong diagnostic test results. Standards ensuring good quality patient specimen are therefore key enablers for improving diagnostics, biobanking and biomedical research”.

The winner of the ‘Individual Researcher’ category is Irene Kamara, nominated by NEN. Irene is Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity Governance in Tilburg Law School and is a member of the NEN Cybersecurity and Privacy committee, which is the mirror committee to CEN/CLC/JTC 13 Cybersecurity and Data Protection and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27 Information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection. In her function in the NEN Cybersecurity and Data Protection committee, Irene provides expert feedback and comments on several key projects, such as the national certification scheme of the ISO/IEC 27701 on Privacy Information Security Management Systems, and the fprEN 17529 Data protection and privacy by design and by default. Irene Kamara had the following to say about her research: “Conducting research on standardization for EU personal data protection and cybersecurity law is exciting and rewarding, albeit at times challenging due to the novelty and complexity of the field”.

The winner of the ‘Young Researcher’ category is Saharnaz Dilmaghani, nominated by ILNAS. Saharnaz pursued her PhD at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust of University of Luxembourg, focussing her research on developing algorithms for clustering network data such as in social networks. She also investigates on the data protection and trustworthiness of Artificial Intelligence by collaborating in different technical committees. Part of her research results have been already included in ISO/IEC TR 24028:2020 within ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42 and in the roadmap developed by CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence.

Saharnaz commented: "With the rapid growth of AI, the demand for standardization has been escalated. Standardization seems indispensable to harness AI and protect individuals from its yet-to-be-known risks. It is therefore crucial for standards and research to work hand in hand with the aim of making the most of AI, reducing the risks, and developing a safe and trustworthy AI for society. I believe this can be made possible if standardization is considered in the backbone of AI research. Scientific collaboration can further facilitate developing measures and techniques for AI assessment in standards."

You can find out more about all of the 2021 nominees here.