The issue of quality infrastructure (QI) is of paramount importance for the economic relations of the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Only by reference to commonly accepted standards and technical regulations, as well as by means of a competent conformity assessment (inspection, inspection, certification), trade with the neighboring markets can be carried out on a mutually recognized basis. A QI system has to be acknowledged according to international standards and best practices in order to profit from trade with EU countries, but also with other markets in the region. Moreover, European best practices are indispensable for EU-oriented countries of the EaP.
So far, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have increased their experiences within the region in the fields of accreditation and metrology in the past years. The lessons learned from the past projects of the region could be shared and synergies could be used. This approach of transferring knowledge within the region can be supported by PTB as a recognized impartial partner.
The objective of the project is to ensure that Quality Infrastructure (QI) institutions in the Eastern Partnership countries (EaP) make progress toward adapting their services and processes for promoting value creation, productivity and innovation to be in line with international and European best practices.
On operational level, the project will strengthen the technical capacities of the QI institutions to provide services such as calibrations, tests, methods, comparative measurements, accreditation scopes, training or consultations. The assistance to develop these services will respond to clearly identified needs of the local economy, especially in areas related to the European Green Deal.
On institutional level, the project will raise awareness among policy makers, QI institution staff and industry representatives of the role of QI institutions in value creation, productivity and innovation. It will also support the international recognition process of new QI services.
Within the partner countries, the project will establish cooperation between QI institutions, political decision-makers and industry representatives. This might include joint training or the establishment of exchange formats such as expert panels, technical committees, quality circles, business talks or political events.
In addition, the project will strengthen the regional cooperation between the QI institutions of the EaP countries. This cooperation might cover strategic, professional or technical issues, e.g. regional seminars and training courses, realisation of comparison measurements or exchanges on best practices.
Companies from EaP countries will fulfil the minimum regulatory requirements to be able to access the local and/or international market. In addition, they will develop and maintain a competitive advantage by meeting voluntary requirements imposed by the markets and customers.
A well-functioning QI ecosystem composed of public and private entities will provide the necessary services for companies and other customers. QI relies on a coherent system of standardization, metrology, accreditation, testing and certification. They will provide a transparent and reliable evidence of compliance with the above-mentioned requirements. Increasing the national visibility of QI and its anchoring in the international system will lead to a revaluation of the participating stakeholders and to a sustainable strengthening of the QI institutions.
By strengthening QI institutions and their service provision, the project promotes the private sector’s competitiveness on the local and international market and improves consumer and environmental protection. It contributes to promoting sustainable development and increasing the quality of life of the citizens of Eastern Partnership countries.
PTB will continue its long-standing cooperation with QI institutions from all Eastern Partnership countries, namely the National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and National Accreditation Bodies (NABs).
Depending on the priority sector selected in each country, the project will closely collaborate with private and public testing laboratories as well as QI users such as enterprises, associations or clusters in the sector.