For more than a hundred years, Austrian Standards International (ASI) has been committed to improving the way that we live and work. The Living Standards Award is the country’s highest recognition for standardization and innovation in business and research. It pays tribute to success stories on innovative solutions, ideas with export potential and future-oriented technologies.
Standards often play an underrated role in the development of innovations and new technologies. We try to make these valuable, unseen contributions visible.
The Awards celebrate the use of standards in three distinct categories and are judged by a panel of experts from Austria and around the world.
With a wide variety of projects up for evaluation, judging isn’t an easy job... so, we’ve taken a closer look at the different areas that were evaluated, and some of the main criteria that the judges had to consider.
This category looks at how standards are applied to solving current social and economic challenges. Nominees in this category are assessed on the way that they have used standards to make life easier for their customers by improving the usability and functionality of their products. Improvements to production processes, such as safety or testing procedures, are also considered here.
Reaching international markets
Submissions are evaluated based on how standards have helped access new international markets. The panel looks at whether products or services were successfully introduced to new markets, how standards ensured their compatibility, and made life easier for international suppliers.
Developing future technology
These projects must demonstrate the use of standards as drivers of innovation and a bridge to market in fields including energy, health, mobility and the environment. In addition to looking at innovative products successfully brought to market, judges also ask how research and development processes were improved, and how these support innovation.
Every year, a wide variety of sectors submit their projects for evaluation, and 2021 was no exception. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant that this year’s Living Standards Award went to an all-digital format, excitement was at an all-time high. Offering his congratulations via video, ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica recognized the challenges and commended ASI on its innovative approach.
The move to a virtual ceremony has had the positive effect of widening participation. In many ways, that’s appropriate, because wide participation is at the very heart of International Standards.