German standardisation successful despite pandemic


The German Standardization Panel's Indicator Report 2021 shows the impact of the Corona pandemic on standardisation.

© Anna Shvets / Pexels

The German Standardisation Panel (DNP) is an annual survey which collects data on standardisation activities of companies. The results are published in the so-called Indicator Report. The report analyses the importance of standards as well as standardisation activities of German companies. In addition to recurring core questions, there is always a thematic focus: in 2021, the focus is on the impact of the Corona pandemic on standardisation.


Standards - reliable even in times of pandemic

Standards play an important role for companies and consumers. They define clear requirements for products and services and are a prerequisite for their quality and safety. They ensure that products are interoperable and they facilitate market access for companies. Standards also play an essential role during the pandemic. As part of the international quality infrastructure, they help ensure that cross-border value and supply chains function and that products reach the people.


Despite the pandemic-related slump in economic output, standardisation remains highly relevant: More than 80 percent of the participating companies actively continued their standardisation activities in 2020. 10 percent even expanded them or plan to do so. Among the standardisation activities, the report counts the time and human resources spent and the commitment of companies within standardisation bodies. It also shows that the pandemic has triggered a positive digitalisation effect. The standardisation activities of DIN and DKE were switched to virtual meetings. This increased the speed and efficiency of standardisation work and reduced costs. More international participants took part in the activities. However, the informal, personal exchange of standardisation experts fell by the wayside.


Who wrote the report?

The opinions of almost 2,400 experts were included in the current study. This is a significant increase compared to the participation in previous years. There was a lot of feedback, especially for the special section of the questionnaire. This shows how important the topic "Impact of the Corona Pandemic" is for the participating companies.


The DNP researches issues related to standardisation. It creates a reliable data basis for scientifically sound statements on standardisation policy aspects. To this end, German companies involved in standardisation are surveyed annually. The Technical University of Berlin (Department of Innovation Economics) has conducted the survey annually since 2012 and evaluates the data. DIN and DKE support the project, which has been under the patronage of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) since 2016.


You can find the report for download on the website of the German Standardization Panel (in German). The English version of the report will be published shortly.


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