Ongoing work in ISO on innovation management

The world’s first guiding international standard for Innovation Management System was published in July 2019. 50 countries and key international organizations are working to develop a set of standards under the auspices of ISO.

The ISO approach

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, set up their committee (ISO/TC 279) for innovation management in 2013, led by the French secretariat of AFNOR.

Like the approach taken at the European level, it was decided to develop guidance standards that provided recommendations rather than requirements. It was also decided to use the established common structure for management system standards (the so-called Annex SL of ISO/IEC Directives). This means that an Innovation Management System can be part of an integrated or general management system already in place in a company or an organization.

Working groups and deliverables

The work is currently conducted in several working groups with participating national experts and observers from about 50 countries:

1. Innovation Management System covers the seven key elements of a management system and provides more detailed guidance under each area. The group has been working under the convenorship of Argentina and the main deliverable was ISO 56002:2019 (formerly called ISO 50501).

2. Terminology covers the fundamentals of innovation management, the Innovation Management Principles and a comprehensive list of terms and definitions, including the definition of “innovation”. The group is led by a convener from Norway and the main publication is ISO 56000:2020 (formerly called ISO 50500).

3. Tools and methods covers several areas under the overall convenorship of Canada and will publish documents in the series from ISO 56003 and up. Examples of standards are Tools and methods for innovation partnership, Intellectual property management, Strategic intelligence, Idea management, and Innovation operation measurements.

4. Innovation Management Assessment is providing guidance for assessing the innovation management capacity of a company or organization. The group was led by a German convener and the document ISO/TR 56004:2019 was published in 2019.

Several international organizations, including OECD, WIPO, EPO, World Bank, WTO, UNIDO, UNDP and ISPIM, are following and contributing to the work as liaisons.

You can get involved

Contact the secretariat at AFNOR or your national standardization organization to find out how you can participate in the ongoing standardization activities. This is the only way to get drafts and being able to provide comments.

ISO standards can be purchased from national standards organizations, such as SIS Swedish Institute for Standards, or from ISO directly.

See the presentation about the development of the international framework for innovation management.

Updated 2020-07-01