The newly established INetQI is a group consisting of organisations with an interest in developing and promoting quality infrastructure (QI) activities.
IAF participated in December in the 3rd meeting of the newly established INetQI, a group consisting of international organisations with an interest in developing and promoting quality infrastructure (QI) activities (metrology, accreditation, standardisation, and conformity assessment). The group also includes donor and support agencies including UNIDO, UNECE, WTO and the World Bank.
WTO and UNIDO reported that the INetQI is part of conversations in trade development circles and that the timing is right to promote the concept of an effective quality infrastructure in all economies. An update on INetQI activities was recently provided to all WTO TBT trade member bodies (164 economies), as INetQI has spoken at various UNIDO and WTO events.
The role of the group will be to support greater coordination amongst members, share information, and act as a focal point to shape the future of quality infrastructure services to remain a trusted tool for sustainable economic development.
Members of INetQI have a vast range of information that provide guidance and support for regulators and developing economies. For example, UNECE presented their new portal which sets out how standards support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This portal maps standards to the Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also contains case studies on how standards have been used as the basis for policy interventions by local and national authorities. OIML are also updating their guidance document for legal metrology which will be expanded to reference other QI activities.
INetQI Members will work to identify how to provide easier access to this information, and other resources such as Business Benefits, Public Sector Assurance and the ISO CASCO Regulators support pages.
The group recognised that it has a unique position to be able to drive change in the way that Quality Infrastructure services are delivered and serve the market.
The WTO and World Bank are working on a joint facility on trade and QI to ensure better performance of QI and knowledge sharing. They are currently mapping donor coverage and existing capacity building programmes. The group agreed that it will coordinate to shape the delivery of existing and future UNIDO and other capacity building projects to ensure that they are fit for purpose and transfer knowledge ofthe latest techniques.
A session at the recent ISO General Assembly meetings on Industry 4.0, convened by the INetQI Chair Merih Malmqvist Nilsson, confirmed that QI partners needeto adapt to new technologies and business models. The group will take a strategic lead to:
- Review the fundamental principles of Conformity Assessment, given the uptake of AI and automation
- Explore how Conformity Assessment can support the quality assurance of new technologies such as blockchain, sensors, AI etc.
- Explore potential changes in assessment methodologies to reflect new technologies and incorporate AI and data analysis, and to identify different delivery methods.
- Explore whether new technologies can be used to broaden small and medium enterprise access to QI services in both developing and developed economies to reduce the costs of trade and conformity assessment
The IAF and ILAC Communications Chairs will coordinate communications and updates from the group. Updates will also be posted on the INetQI website.
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