IEC President Jim Shannon recently spent several days in Malaysia where he attended the ASEAN Electrotechnical Symposium and Exhibition 2018.
During this time, and as a guest of Standard Malaysia and its Director General, Datuk Fadilah Baharin, Shannon participated in two media interviews with Bernama Radio and Astro Awani TV. In these interviews, Shannon discusses the role of the IEC, the importance of standards today, the challenges that the world faces and how participation is key to finding the best technology solutions
The clips below provide highlights from his interviews.
About the IEC
Shannon provides an overview of the work of the IEC which was founded in London by Lord Kelvin in 1906. He reminds listeners that the first task of the IEC was to help bring electricity safely to everyone in the world and that since then, the IEC has developed numerous standards for electrical and electronic equipment ensuring their performance, interoperability and safety. As Shannon notes, “without international standards, you would not have all of the technology we have in the world today.”
In a second clip, Shannon notes that the IEC wants advance technology but also “to improve safety, reliability and resilience.”
Reasons for IEC success
Despite the many changes that IEC members have experienced in their national governments, the IEC continues to progress in its work. According to Shannon, this ability to move forward is possible because “we are based on science, we are based upon technology, we are based upon the belief that the right technical solution can come from any place in the world. That is a system we work very hard to protect.”
Standards are essential for trade
Selling products internationally is one of the key reasons for companies to adopt standards. As Shannon notes, “the use of international standards really makes that possible. Without international standards you not have as much international trade.”
New opportunities…and challenges
Shannon notes that technology is embedded everywhere. However, it is necessary to develop standards that can help solve the problems that emerge with the Internet of Things, smart cities, smart girds and advances in medical technology. But, he notes, organizations like the IEC are required to “do things very differently than we have done before. This is a very exciting time for us but also very challenging.”
An open door policy
Shannon notes that the IEC prides itself on finding the best technology solution regardless of where it comes from. However, this requires participation from many countries and different types of companies. As he mentions, “we have an open door policy and we have broad international participation” which is key to IEC success.
Malaysia on the right track
Shannon also praises Malaysia for its active participation in international standardization activities which he believes will place the country in a good position for the future.