Global event with 2200 technology experts kicks off in Tokyo today

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International collaborative platform to help build a smarter world, IEC General Meeting 10-14 November 2014.

IEC 78th General Meeting, Tokyo 10-14 Nov. 2014

“Integration for a smarter world” is in recognition of the need to increase the “smartness” of everything from grids, to cities, to transportation and manufacturing to improve energy efficiency and sustainability.

Today, more than 2 200 global technology leaders and experts are coming together in Tokyo, Japan for a week-long meeting to focus on practical solutions to make the world safer, and more sustainable. They are participating in the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 78th General Meeting organized by JISC, the IEC National Committee of Japan, which is part of METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), under the theme “integration for a smarter world”.

This theme “integration for a smarter world” is in recognition of the need to increase the “smartness” of everything from grids, to cities, to transportation and manufacturing to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. Smart is often associated with information and communication technology, but the gathering and processing of data – so-called Big Data – is only part of the picture. The other part is the electrical and electronic devices and systems that enable this smartness. IEC work impacts all of them.

IEC General Secretary Frans Vreeswijk says: “Today, the speed of innovation has accelerated to a point where an individual company can no longer develop everything alone. Extreme competitiveness and close cooperation now go hand-in-hand. The IEC global platform hosts more than 15 000 technology experts from the world’s leading companies, governments, regulators, academia and small business to build some of the tools that help enable this broad cooperation. Applying internationally-agreed harmonized rules allow companies to participate in global value chains, which are now spread across many countries and continents.”

Stakeholders from every industrialized and most developed countries in the world actively support the IEC; some since its inception in 1906. By participating in IEC work, companies find it easier to innovate and spread new technologies globally. They are also better able to collaborate on increasingly complex systems with companies both in their country and outside. With 166 countries the IEC has truly global reach. Japan and other countries that participate in the IEC use IEC International Standards as a strategic tool to grow their exports. This approach helps them overcome hurdles to global trade, allowing companies to sell products to a large number of markets.

The importance that the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is attributing to IEC work is illustrated by the fact that Dr Hiromishi Fujisawa, IEC Vice President and Corporate Chief Scientist in Hitachi’s R&D Group received the 2014 Prime Minister’s Award for Industrial Standardization, the highest recognition for outstanding contribution to industrial standardization.

While most large international companies already participate actively in the IEC, more SMEs need to join the ranks and influence International Standards and level the global playing field. Any company who doesn’t participate leaves it up to competition from elsewhere to write the technical rules for global trade that they will have to work with in the future.

According to Dr Junji Nomura, IEC President, “Participation in IEC work, not only increases the flexibility and corporate efficiency of international companies, it also facilitates technology innovation and helps build bigger markets, faster for many small companies. This in turn helps build national economies.”

About the event:
The 78th IEC General Meeting will be held at the Tokyo International Forum from 10-14 November 2014. The official opening ceremony will be led by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr Yoichi Miyazawa; Dr Junji Nomura, IEC President; and Dr Tamotsu Nomakuchi, President of the Japanese National Committee of the IEC.

Keynote speeches will be given by the President of Hitachi Ltd, Mr Hiroaki Nakanishi and the President of Panasonic Corporation, Mr Kazuhiro Tsuga.

On Wednesday 12 November, the world’s highest honour in electrotechnology, the Lord Kelvin Award, will be awarded to Dr Shuji Hirakawa from Toshiba.

On Friday afternoon 14 November in a session open to the public, industry leaders and experts will present concrete examples of “integration toward a smarter world”. The keynote address will be held by Mr Masaki Sakuyama, President & CEO of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

About the IEC
The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) brings together 166 countries, representing 98% of the world population and 96% of world energy generation. Close to 15 000 experts cooperate on the global, neutral and independent IEC platform to ensure that products work everywhere safely with each other. The IEC is the world's leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for the whole energy chain, including all electrical, electronic and related technologies, devices and systems. The IEC also supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems used in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, public spaces, transportation, manufacturing, explosive environments and energy generation conform to them.

IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, Smart Grid & Smart Cities, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment.

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Gabriela Ehrlich
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