China-EU IT Standards

The China-EU-Standards project promoted research collaboration on Information Technology standardisation between China and Europe. The People’s Republic of China has become increasingly active in information technology standards. This activity raises important issues for China about standardisation processes and technology promotion policy, with significant consequences for the European economy and global ICT market. These issues are of particular interest to the FP7 Information Society Technologies programme.

This project brought together leading European and Chinese centres researching ICT Interoperability Standards to undertake a comparative examination of ICT standardisation processes and policies between EU and China. It developed a network of top researchers in the field in Europe, China and beyond. It examined the new ICT standardisation activity emerging in China and compared these emerging standardisation processes with the more established European ones.

Three strategic studies addressd areas identified by IST as critical for European technology and industrial strategy. They examinined the standardisation approach adopted; the strategies of public policy, technical and industrial players; the likely implementation/ uptake of standards and their consequences for innovation and markets. In particular: will the outcomes be open standards and alignment between regional economies, or competing standards, potentially leading to so-called ‘standards wars’ and the fragmentation of global markets.

The ‘China EU Information Technology Standards Research Partnership’ was co-funded by the EU under Grant agreement no. 217457. It was a Support Action under FP7’s ‘Socio-economic sciences and the Humanities’ programme, Objective ICT-2007.9.1, ‘International Co-operation’. Among others, an expected target outcome of this Objective is the “Identification and promotion of co-operation opportunities, support to policy dialogues”. The China-EU-Standards project specifically targeted the latter. Project work started in March 2008, and continued for 24 months. The project was co-ordinated by the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Consortium

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is Scotland’s foremost research University. The Institute for the Study of Science Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) is the leading Scottish centre for socio-economic research into technological change, particularly in relation to Information and Communication Technologies, building upon the prestigious ESRC PICT Centre (1987 – 1995). A major strand of this research has focused upon ICT standardisation processes with 6 major externally-funded research projects over 16 years as well as supervision of a range of PhDs in the area. The Institute benefits from strong links with world-class research strengths in science and engineering at Edinburgh.

Staff involved

Professor Robin Williams is Director of the Institute for the Study of Science Technology and Innovation (ISSTI).

Dr Ian Graham is Senior Lecturer in the University of Edinburgh Business School.
Dr James Stewart, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Science Technology and Innovation (ISSTI).
Dr Xiaobai Shen is Senior Lecturer in the University of Edinburgh Business School.

The University of Oslo

RWTH-Aachen University

ISI Fraunhofer Institute for Systems
and Innovation Research

Tsinghua University

The Chinese Academy of Science: Institute
for Policy and Management


For further information please contact the project co-ordinator,
Professor Robin Williams.

Project Reports

Deliverable 3:
Review of State of Art: China and EU

Dekiverable 4: Study

Deliverable 5: Report
on European Workshop

Deliverable 9: Report
on Standards Dynamics

Deliverable 11: Mobile

Deliverable 12: AVS

Deliverable 13: Mobile

Deliverable 16: Implications
for Chinese and European Policies

Policy Brief