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In this Edition

Executive report

Another busy month is just behind us, with exciting work going on across all sectors and with international colleagues.  

Early in April, we welcomed delegates from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, all for the common purpose of strengthening cyber security in the Pacific region.

Partnering with The Cyber Cooperation Program, our International Team hosted The Cyber Security Regional Standardisation Enhancement Program.

Focussing on the adoption and use of standards from the ISO/IEC 27000 series within the Pacific region, the two day forum included workshops with each of the Pacific countries as well as listening to an array of key speakers in the cyber security sector.

The forum was a great opportunity to listen to industry experts that shared practical and sustainable approaches to good cyber security. We want to ensure the Pacific region continues to thrive economically, is able to protect their industry, their government, their community and citizens from ever increasing cyber security threats.

We have just provided a further update on our Technical Governance Review. This last quarter was centred on the access of information to our contributors, and the building of knowledge for all those involved with standards, as well as refreshing and updating our learning platform to give more focused support in key areas.

We have a very strong pipeline of projects coming to the end and look forward to publishing a number of key standards in the next couple of months.

As a final point from me, we have just opened our next round of applications for our NEXTgen program. NEXTgen is a big part of the future of standards in Australia and we are calling for nominations now.

As always, a big thanks to our contributors for your ongoing work.

—Adrian O’Connell, Acting Chief Executive Officer

Talking hydrogen

The hydrogen sector in Australia is gaining momentum and Standards Australia, together with industry, government and academia are working to ensure that standards are at the forefront of the conversation for realising the opportunities that exist for Australia through hydrogen technologies.

Over the last couple of months, Standards Australia has been working to establish a committee of Australian experts to mirror the work of international experts on ISO/TC 197, Hydrogen Technologies.

With access to a trusted and established community of experts in the oil and gas sector, Standards Australia finalised the constitution of the mirror committee and hosted the first kick off meeting of ME-093, Hydrogen Technologies.

These highly regarded professionals have expertise ranging from hydrogen production and transportation through to transmission, distribution and gas appliances. The meeting focused primarily on the priority areas for Australia in regards to hydrogen, important technical committees that should liaise with the new ME-093 committee and the analysis of existing international and national standards that relate to hydrogen.

In March 2019, Standards Australia contributed to the National Hydrogen Strategy Working Group to advise on the importance of standards as Australia develops a national hydrogen strategy. Ahead of the ME-093 kick-off, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, who is leading the development of the national hydrogen strategy provided his thoughts on the value that standards offer within this field stating that, “One of the cross-cutting themes in the development of the national hydrogen strategy is the importance of standards at the national and international level. On the domestic front, safety and community acceptance will depend deeply on having appropriate standards in place, supported by regulations.”

From this initial meeting, the committee will now review a catalogue of existing national and international standards, with the aim to meet again in a few months with their recommendations on standards relating to hydrogen production and exports; storage and handling; transport; utilisation in the gas networks; utilisation – mobility; and health, safety and environment research and development.

Alongside this, Standards Australia will also look to form a Chairs Advisory Group to ensure that the existing committees are kept informed about the activities of the ME-093 and have an opportunity to provide input when necessary.

As a result, from the April meeting Standards Australia is now looking at a clear delivery plan to support Australia’s hydrogen rollout benefiting consumers and professionals alike as this alternative energy sector powers ahead.

Register now for graphene forum

Graphene is a honeycomb sheet of carbon atoms, showing incredible promise for a wide range of functional and innovative products of the future. It is the strongest known material, yet also characterised as stretchy. It is also an incredible heat and electricity conductor.

The future of graphene is just getting started, and as it becomes incorporated into commercially viable products, maintaining the manufacturing quality and reproducibility will become increasingly important, as will consensus on relevant terminology and industry relevant materials specifications.

Standards Australia invite all interested stakeholders to take part in our graphene standardisation forum and panel discussion, to be held on Wednesday 15 May from 9am – 12:30pm.

This forum will be used for stakeholders to discuss their needs, stimulate further effective Australian participation on an international platform and to engage with experts from the ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 229, Nanotechnologies.

For more information and to register now see the event page.

A wealth of knowledge shapes revised standards

Miners and manufacturers have struck gold with a series of recently published standards aimed at helping analyse bullion of precious metals. Australian technical experts have worked to significantly update five Australian Standards to incorporate changes in technology and revise testing methods used for accurately analysing gold and silver bullion.

Read more on our website.

Calling all emerging industry experts

At a recent ISO Forum held in Geneva, one of the topics of discussion was on the priority of encouraging the younger generation into the world of standards, this was witnessed on an international scale. The NEXTgen program is an essential initiative and a great opportunity for up and coming contributors to be a part of.

Do you know any emerging experts in your industry? The 2019/20 NEXTgen Contributors Program and IEC Young Professionals Programme are both now open.

2019/20 NEXTgen Contributors
The NEXTgen Contributors Program provides in-depth training on developing standards and includes the opportunity to observe committees in action. It’s the perfect way to launch a standards career. The program runs from August 2019 to May 2020.

IEC Young Professionals Programme
Are you an emerging leader in the energy or electrotechnology industry? This program is an opportunity for experts in electrotechnology to further develop their skills on an international stage. The program includes a workshop that will be held in parallel with the IEC 2019 General Meeting in Shanghai.

For further details and program dates please see our website.

In conversation with Dr. Tobias Feakin

Dr Tobias Feakin is Australia's inaugural Ambassador for Cyber Affairs. He leads Australia's whole‑of‑government international engagement to advance and protect Australia's national security, foreign policy, economic and trade, and development interests in the internet and in cyberspace.

Ambassador Feakin was a member of the Independent Panel of Experts that supported the Australian Cyber Security Review to produce Australia's 2016 Cyber Security Strategy. He was the Director of National Security Programs at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute from 2012 to 2016 and established the Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre.

Standards Australia partnered up with The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and their Cyber Cooperation Program, in hosting Aprils’ Cyber Security Forum for the Pacific region.

The upcoming cyber security project looks to strengthen cyber security in the region, why is this important?
Standardisation in the cyber security field, while sounding very dry, is essential for ensuring we are all speaking the same language when it comes to cyber security, and at its core this is what this project is about. The ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards helps organisations keep their information assets secure.

Through the Cyber Cooperation Program, we are ensuring that our neighbours in the Pacific have the capacity and expertise to not only implement these standards to secure their systems but to also genuinely participate in the International Organization for Standardization process to update existing and develop new guidelines.

Is there support in the region for this?
Absolutely, countries in the Pacific understand the importance of cyber security not only for the safety of their citizens and their information but also the economic opportunities presented by digital trade and commerce once you establish secure and robust ICT infrastructure.

How will this benefit Australians?
First and foremost, this project will ensure we can all speak the same language when it comes to cyber security. Everyone will be clear on the definitions and concepts, so we can move straight to harnessing the opportunities and addressing the challenges of digital technologies. Secondly, having a digitally safe and prosperous neighbourhood will offer new digital trade and commerce opportunities for Australian’s while supporting regional security and stability.

Are there any risks are associated with this?
There are risks with any project but that does not mean that you can’t take steps to mitigate them. This is why we are partnering with Standards Australia on this project to ensure we can benefit from their extensive expertise in this field and deliver a project which genuinely meets the needs of countries in the Pacific.

What does the future of standardisation look like?
Standards are an important tool which supports legislation and policy for the benefit of the public. At the same time standardisation promotes innovation by not only disseminating knowledge and ideas but more importantly provides structure and processes which save time in developing and implementing new ideas. So, looking to the future, as Pacific countries closer integrate into the international standards setting system I expect we will see innovative Pacific solutions to local and global challenges.

Technical governance review – 3rd quarter update

Through careful implementation of a series of changes across our processes, Standards Australia is working to make the standards system in Australia even better through efficiency and effectiveness.

Access to information
The first three months of 2019 have seen the release of the first phase of Connect, our new contributor platform, and the completion of a pilot for a new online Public Comment platform. As well as delivering some new functionality straight away, both represent ongoing work to provide much better access to information about the standards development work program. Feedback on both platforms has been incredibly positive with a strong development pipeline for Connect being worked on now.

The next stages of both programs of work, will see even greater functionality and deliver on our commitment to make our contributors’ engagement with Standards Australia much simpler, faster and better.

Building knowledge
The Technical Governance Review recognised the pivotal roles played by committee chairs and by Nominating Organisations within the standards development process. By providing better support in these areas, we expect long-term benefits to the entire standards development system.

The Standards Academy, our learning platform for contributors and staff, was relaunched in early March 2019. The Academy has a new look and feel giving contributors easier access to high quality online learning material, and options to register for face to face workshops.

The range of learning materials is being expanded to give more focused support in key areas, such as knowledge and skills needed to be an effective committee chair, as well as enhancing the capabilities of those already in the role.  

The team is also developing material to assist Nominating Organisations. Those who are new to standards development need to build their knowledge of our processes, along with guidance on how to contribute effectively. Organisations involved in multiple committees may want ideas to coordinate the contribution of their committee representatives over a number of committees and projects.

For information on the progress of other projects under our Technical Governance Review (TGR) Implementation Plan for FY2019 (PDF), go to the Quarter 3 Progress Report on our website.

Returning to Nepal

International Engagement Manager, Clare Hobern, provides some interesting insights in her recent work overseas in Nepal as part of the Indo-Pacific Digital Trade Standardisation Initiative. Read more about the work conducted in Kathmandu, from the personal view point of someone who once lived in Nepal.

See Clare's blog post.

International update

Standards Australia represents Australia on the two major international standards development bodies, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Our activities are reported on our International Updates page.

Highlights from April (PDF):

  • Standards build trust: CEN and CENELEC launch a declaration for the European elections
  • Standards cooperation is key to making AI and smart cities a reality
  • Call for experts in future sustainable transportation

Sector update

Access the latest standards development news in your industry sector via our Sectors page.

Drafts open for comment

The public comment process provides an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to make valuable contributions. View draft standards currently open for comment.

Timelines drawn for new Responsible Wood standard

A HISTORIC trans-Tasman forestry standard is a step closer with the Gold Coast set to host the first standards committee meeting on May 16 and 17.

In response to unprecedented interest from New Zealand stakeholders, Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries confirmed that a healthy balance of Australian and NZ interests will be represented on the committee.

“Certainly the interest from New Zealand stakeholders has been high; on the balance, Australian and NZ representation will be almost 50-50.

”Mr Dorries said the new standard would be developed as a fully recognised joint Australia-NZ standard, accepted by PEFC International and meeting the system requirements for a fully-fledged JAS-ANZ accredited sustainable forest management system.