International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

March 2011


Common platforms

IEC Global Visions – why IEC International Standards support innovation and cooperation


IEC Global Visions continue to show the strategic importance of IEC International Standards in responding to the challenges of regulators, businesses and other professional bodies in their everyday tasks. A further video interview in the IEC series features Matthias Kurth, President, Federal Network Agency, Germany.



The IEC Global Visions came about in response to a request made at the NC (National Committee) Presidents meeting during the 2008 IEC General Meeting in São Paulo, Brazil, to gather testimonials of how the IEC supports the industry as a whole, including the aspects of Conformity Assessment and regulation.


IEC Global Visions consists of interviews with CEOs and CTOs of global companies who participate in and actively use IEC International Standards in their everyday work. The mini-documentaries provide insight into some of the challenges the companies and regulatory bodies face and demonstrate how IEC International Standards and CA (Conformity Assessment) help them respond to those challenges.


IEC Global Visions provides case histories that show how the IEC has contributed to the success of its stakeholders in addressing their needs with International Standards.


The IEC can help put the innovative potential of industry on the right track so that we don't have island solutions: proprietary solutions that can hinder the growth of the market

Matthias Kurth,
President, Federal Network Agency,

Topics include sustainability, safety, the environment, climate change, recycling, efficiency, reliability, global trade, quality issues and so on. The testimonials of the leading industry figures provide examples of how standards can be used to guarantee technology transfer, while ensuring easier access to markets and offering solutions to technical challenges. They deliver valuable feedback to those industrialists who are not yet well aware of the strategic potential of standards.

Common platforms: the basis for individual innovation

The recent video in the series centres on Matthias Kurth, President, Federal Network Agency. He explains his role as a regulator in putting into place a modern infrastructure that guarantees investment, competition in the interest of consumers and fair pricing for products. He explains the incentives that are necessary to create synergy and set a framework for future innovation based not only on law and regulations, but also on business models that allow for economic growth while taking into account diverging technologies.


"We are a regulatory organization, not an engineering organization," says Kurth. "We need the help of innovation from the industry side. The IEC can help put the innovative potential of industry on the right track so that we don't have island solutions: proprietary solutions that can hinder the growth of the market."


Kurth explains how important it is now to think across borders and areas to facilitate different sectors and networks in working together and to provide a more integrated way of thinking.

Challenges for a regulator

One of the challenges Kurth has is that of renovating infrastructures, some of which date back to the previous century. The energy sector is one case where the Smart Grid allows electricity to be used more efficiently in an intelligent way and provides the consumer with the potential to reduce energy costs. He sees the patchwork of networks that exists at present as a puzzle in which all the pieces need to be gathered up in order to bring people to think in a more global systems manner.


The main challenge Kurth faces at present however is that of bringing together the thousands of players who, although in competition, all have the same fundamental goal. International Standards guarantee a common playing field where all players receive the same fair treatment to the benefit of both the consumer and industry.


Further videos with world leaders from industry and government to show the value of standardization, and particularly the contributions of the IEC, are already underway and will be released over the coming months.




Find out more