February 1, 2012 - A Jan. 17 White House memo on the importance of private sector involvement in standards-setting sends an important message to federal agencies and foreign governments, said Mary Saunders, director of the standards coordination office in the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Senior executives of three White House Offices--the offices of Science And Technology Policy and Information And Regulatory Affairs, and the U.S. Trade Representative--signed the memo, which articulates principles for federal agencies to follow when developing standards.
Most standards developed and used in U.S. markets are created with little or no government involvement, the memo notes, and federal policy continues to be one of "reliance on private sector leadership, supplemented by federal government contributions to discrete standardization process," it adds.
Until the memo was signed, "we've never had out of the White House a strategic statement about the importance of standards to innovation, about the importance of the private sector-led system," Saunders said in an interview. read more>>>
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