LEVA-EU has recently become a full member of Small Business Standards (SBS), the voice of European Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in standardisation. LEVA-EU’s board member, Eddie Eccleston, has been working as SBS-expert for three years. This positive cooperation convinced LEVA-EU of the need for a closer relationship with SBS.
One of the key activities of LEVA-EU is standardization. Annick Roetynck, Bram Rotthier and Eddie Eccleston are working in CEN TC 333 – cycles and IEC 125 – e-Transporters, whilst LEVA-EU is also member of TC 354 for PLEVs and ISO TC 149/SC1. The main objective of this work is to contribute to the development of adequate and high-quality standards, which may be easily applied by SMEs. More than 90% of LEVA-EU members are SMEs.
On arrival in these standardisation committees, LEVA-EU found that there were very few SMEs involved in the work. Therefore, Eddie Eccleston was put forward as a candidate to work as SBS-expert.
Small Business Standards (SBS) was selected by the European Commission to represent SMEs in the standardisation process, motivate them to get involved and raise their awareness about standardisation. In this context SBS appoints experts who represent the European SME position in standardisation Technical Committees, among which CEN.
Furthermore, LEVA-EU tried to tackle the lack of SME-involvement, by building support for the SBS expert’s SME-friendly positions and approach by convincing their members to become active in standardisation themselves. They have persuaded a considerable number of LEVA-EU members to effectively join the standardization work in CEN TC 333. As a result, there is now a lot more attention and support for SME-proof standards.
However, LEVA-EU felt a growing need for a closer cooperation with SBS to be able to deal with the issue of SME-involvement. “Also, we worked closely together with SBS on the Machinery Regulation, which made it clear to us that a closer cooperation with SBS would strengthen our lobby work for certain issues, which are directly relevant to the LEV-business such as the new Machinery and Battery Regulation”, LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck explains. She continues: “What’s more, the other 21 SBS-members represent a large variety of SMEs, ranging from timber construction to ICT SMEs. They may well be interested in learning from LEVA-EU about sustainable mobility, through the use of Light Electric Vehicles. We are truly excited about our SBS-membership.”
SBS Secretary General, Maitane Olabarria, welcomed LEVA-EU with the words: “The light electric vehicles sector is a developing dynamic sector. Standardisation plays an important role in its development, and we are looking forward to being able to further support European SMEs in this area together with LEVA-EU.”