Launch of the Publication „United in Quality and Safety“
In a globalised economy, quality assurance is becoming more complex. An effective quality infrastructure (QI) ensures safe and high-quality products and services. The system includes all necessary steps, from standardisation and conformity assessment (testing, inspection and certification) to accreditation, metrology and market surveillance.
Quality and safety play a crucial role in bringing people and markets together
The technical publication "United in Quality and Safety" illustrates how experts and QI institutions in Germany and the EU work together.
It is the result of a collaboration between the most important quality infrastructure institutions in Germany: the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung – BAM), the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur – BnetzA), the National accreditation body for the Federal Republic of Germany (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle – DakkS), the German Institute for Standardisation (Deutsches Institut für Normung – DIN), the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE (DKE), the National Metrology Institute of Germany (Nationale Metrologische Anstalt Deutschlands – PTB) and the German Central Authority of the Federal States for Safety Engineering (Zentralstelle der Länder für Sicherheitstechnik – ZLS). The publication provides an overview of the various QI components. It also informs about the system of product legislation in Germany and the EU.
A lively exchange between QI experts and the international audience
The two-day event to launch the publication included presentations and panel discussions with high-ranking experts from QI institutions, BMWi, European Commission and the industry. The individual sessions either took place at the GIZ Representation in Berlin or virtually and were livestreamed. More than 200 viewers from all over the world participated. A chat allowed them to ask questions. Thus, a lively exchange between QI experts and the international audience took place, moderated by GPQI staff.
Release and presentation of the publication
On the first day, the Director-General for Digital and Innovation Policy at BMWi, Stefan Schnorr, officially released the publication. He emphasised the practical use of the publication:
"This publication shall serve all who seek a better understanding of the German and European system for placing products on the market. It will shed light on the roles and shared responsibilities of governments and industry in the framework of the EU’s harmonised product legislation and quality infrastructure mechanisms. And it can be insightful for those who are keen to learn how the different quality infrastructure elements contribute to high-quality, compliant products and services.”
Co-authors Philip Grinsted and Khushwant Singh from GIZ presented some of the contents of the publication and gave an overview of its creation process. All authors had been particularly keen to make the complex topic easily understandable, using concrete products as examples.
In an interesting panel discussion, Stefan Schnorr (BMWi), Christoph Winterhalter (DIN), Florian Spiteller (DKE), Dr Stephan Finke (DAkkS), Dr Frank Lienesch (PTB) and Dr Claudia Koch (BAM) discussed the future of QI, new challenges and new trends such as digitalisation. Matthias Schmidt-Gerdts from European Commission then explained the system of product legislation in the EU and Germany with a focus on the "New Legislative Framework". To close the day, Prof. Dr Knut Blind from the Technical University of Berlin and Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) gave an interview on the economic importance of QI and emphasised the important role of standards for innovation and efficient trade.
Expert presentations on quality infrastructure in Germany
On the second day, QI experts gave a deeper insight into different areas of the German QI system in several presentations which reflected individual chapters of the publication.
Joachim Geiß (BMWi) and Stephan Winkelmann (BNetzA) jointly explained how market surveillance guarantees safety and ensures fair competition. Christian Marian (DKE) and Maria Albert (DIN) presented from the GIZ representation in Berlin and stated that standardisation not only benefits companies but also society as a whole. In a virtual dialogue, Alexander Perdoni (DAkkS) described how conformity assessment and accreditation ensure reliability and generate trust. Dr Frank Lienesch (PTB) offered insight into the field of metrology as a key foundation for trade and innovation.
The event concluded with a panel discussion focusing on the importance of the international harmonisation of QI. Sonia Prashar from the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Léa Contier de Freitas from the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) and Pia Kathöfer from TÜV Rheinland debated the topic "Quality and safety without borders”. They unanimously emphasised that quality infrastructure is most effective when it is harmonised internationally.
Dr Claudia Koch (BAM) on the future of QI. © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke
Stefan Schnorr (BMWi), Christoph Winterhalter (DIN), Dr Stephan Finke (DAkkS), Dr Frank Lienesch (PTB). © GPQI-GIZ
Florian Spiteller (DKE) on the future of QI. © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke
Prof. Dr Knut Blind (TU Berlin/Fraunhofer ISI) on the economic importance of QI. © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke
Stephan Winkelmann (BNetzA) explains how market surveillance ensures fair competition. © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke
Christian Marian (DKE) and Maria Albert (DIN) explain the role of standardisation. © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke
Christian Marian (DKE) explains the benefit of standards. © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke
Alexander Perdoni (DAkkS) on conformity assessment and accreditation. © GPQI-GIZ
Pia Kathöfer (TÜV Rheinland). © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke
Sonia Prashar (Indo-German Chamber of Commerce) (t.r.), Léa Contier de Freitas (Inmetro) (b.l.) and Pia Kathöfer (TÜV Rheinland) (b.r.) discuss the international harmonisation of QI. © GPQI-GIZ
Livestream from the GIZ Representation in Berlin. © GPQI-GIZ/Thomas Ecke