Making IEC the home of industry

IEC President addresses Council

By Claire Marchand

IEC President Klaus Wucherer began his speech by stressing the fact that the IEC continues to perform well in spite of still difficult world economic conditions. The Commission meets its targets and in some areas even beats expectations. The organization is dynamic and ambitious, doing well but always striving for improvement. He sees this as a major internal management challenge at a time when there are also many external challenges to be met.

IEC President Klaus Wucherer addressing Council in Oslo

Wucherer then addressed a topic that is recurrent throughout the IEC Masterplan: “Making IEC the home of industry”. For him, two questions need to be answered: How to define “home” in the global IEC context and why put the accent on industry rather than on any other stakeholder group?

What and where is “home”?

For Wucherer, the answer to that first question is clear: home consists of the IEC members, the NCs (National Committees). It is through them all that the IEC can serve its stakeholders and meet their standardization and conformity assessment needs. He encouraged the NCs to represent their various national stakeholders to the fullest extent possible and to make them feel at home in the IEC, where their voice can be heard and valued, where their influence can be felt.

Why focus on industry?

More than any other group, private and public sector industry make the greatest investment in and contribution to IEC work. Industry supplies the vast majority of technical experts who develop IEC International Standards; it is the biggest customer for these standards, and widely uses the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems.

This does not mean that other groups – regulators, trade organizations among them – are not important and make no contribution. On the contrary, they do and should play an important role in IEC activities.

Mapping market trends

Wucherer further stated that, in our day and age, the demand for electricity is growing quickly and the IEC has to be at the leading edge of evolving standardization needs in all electrotechnical sectors. This is where the MSB (Market Strategy Board) has a major role to play.

Looking five, 10 or 20 years into the future, mapping the likely technical and market trends that will lead to IEC International Standards or conformity assessment activities is invaluable to the IEC. The MSB is contributing in an important way and already produced some excellent results that the SMB (Standardization Management Board) and CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) are acting on.

Strong leadership

In the last part of his speech, Wucherer paid tribute to Ronnie Amit, IEC General Secretary and CEO from 1 January 1999 to 30 September 2012, and welcomed Frans Vreeswijk, who took over on 1 October.

Wucherer praised Amit’s strong and focused leadership which has brought the IEC where it is today. Under his management, the IEC expanded its reach around the world, standardization moved from a paper to a 100% electronic environment, and governance, structure and processes have been modernized and streamlined for greater efficiency. The Commission’s finances are sound, giving the IEC a very strong basis to face the future and its challenges.

Industry men

Wucherer said, “Above all, because he himself was an industry man, Ronnie Amit has done more than anyone to keep the IEC close to its markets and serving their needs. Ronnie Amit is a leader – and that is exactly what we need in our world. So I cannot finish this address without saying a profound thank-you, on behalf of everyone in this room and the entire IEC community world-wide. (…) But I can almost hear Ronnie Amit saying ‘We need to do more!’ And that is why we have the new Masterplan.”

Wucherer then explained that the single most important requirement considered when selecting the new General Secretary was the ability, experience and commitment to implement the Masterplan. Frans Vreeswijk is also an industry man. He was previously President of the Dutch NC and served on the SMB and Council Board. Under his leadership, the IEC would be in good hands.

Wucherer asked the IEC members to give Vreeswijk the same strong support they gave to Amit. He concluded his speech with the same message he gave in Melbourne the previous year: “This is an increasingly electric world. Electricity is our domain. That means it is an increasingly IEC world. Everywhere there is electricity, there also should be the IEC”

spec-1_kw IEC President Klaus Wucherer addressing Council in Oslo
spec-1_masterplan "Making IEC the home of industry" is a recurrent topic throughout the IEC Masterplan
spec-1_iec_members Through its members, the IEC can serve its stakeholders and meet their standardization and conformity assessment needs