The UNICORN project consortium has made a decision to develop and produce a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) and thereof contribute to the European standardization environment. Although the CWA is not formally a European Standard, and involves no obligation at national level, it is considered as an important step towards the development of the European standard. In addition, the production process of the CWA is much faster and more flexible, thus it is more suitable for the project.
Production of the CEN Workshop Agreement will allow UNICORN to better and faster exploit the project results. The produced standard, or, in this case, the CWA, increases the interoperability and enables the comparison of UNICORN’s outcomes with the products already existing in the market. In addition, it will ensure a better dissemination of the UNICORN’s results to a wider community.
What is the CEN Workshop Agreement and how does it work?
Workshop Agreements are considered as the consensus documents developed during the workshops where any interested stakeholder can participate. First of all, the Project Plan and other relevant documents have to be submitted to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC). The CCMC examines the documents and then publishes the draft Project Plan on their website for at least 30 days. In this way, all the interested stakeholders can get informed about the standardization proposal, and can submit their comments or express their interest to participate in the CWA development process.
At least 30 days after the publication of the draft Project Plan, the kick off meeting for the CWA can take place, where the Project Plan gets approved by the participants and a chairperson of the CEN-Workshop gets appointed. From this point on, the development of the CWA starts, and an entire process can take, on average, between 10-12 months. It is much faster than developing an actual standard, thus more suitable for the UNICORN project which will end in 2020.
In the lifespan of the CWA (which is 3 years, and can be extended to another 3), the CWA can get transformed into another type of standards deliverable, such as a Technical Specification or full European standard.
Next steps of the UNICORN consortium
In the next UNICORN consortium meeting (June, 2018), consortium partner DIN, which leads the standardisation activities, will organise a workshop on standard development. Together with other consortium partners, they will prepare the documents needed to initiate the CWA (draft Project Plan, self-assessment, analysis of interest). Afterwards, DIN will submit these documents to the CCMC, and continue with the CWA development process.