In May 2023, the White House released its US Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology. The strategy commits to continued US government support for the private sector–led standards system, and is aligned with the United States Standards Strategy published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the US standardization system.
As a standards developing organization (SDO) working on several areas deemed “critical and emerging” by the strategy, the International Society of Automation (ISA) has read the new document with great interest.
By way of background, ISA has been an ANSI-accredited SDO since 1987, with 89 of the total 138 ISA standards approved as American National Standards. Further, ISA participates actively in the U.S. National Committee (USNC) to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) because of the importance of strong leadership and engagement in international standardization activities.
Standards development is fundamental to ISA, and to see continued support for the private-sector-led standardization work that our Society and others are doing is exciting and encouraging.
In fact, last week at the ISA OT Cybersecurity Summit, the day two keynote speaker Cheri Caddy, Deputy Assistant National Cyber Director at ONCD/the White House, talked about the new strategy. She shared her perspective that standards work can be challenging because it’s the “long game,” taking many years to see results and establish credibility. She underscored that the US government has always been a strong proponent of industry-led standards, and that industry partners must participate consistently in the work of SDOs like ISA.
According to the strategy, the United States will prioritize efforts for standards development for a subset of critical and emerging technologies that are essential for US competitiveness and national security. Of the fourteen such technology areas named on pages 6 and 7 of the strategy, ISA standards development efforts help address the following:
- Communication and Networking Technologies
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Automated and Connected Infrastructure
- Automated, Connected, and Electrified Transportation
- Critical Minerals Supply Chains
- Cybersecurity and Privacy
The strategy also names the US government’s intention to support the development of standards that address risk, security, and resilience – a leading example of which was developed by ISA. The ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards set cybersecurity benchmarks in all industry sectors that use industrial automation and control systems (IACS), including building automation, electric power generation and distribution, transportation, and process industries such as chemicals and oil and gas.
- Access the US Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology and related NIST resources.
- View the White House Summit video.
- Read the ANSI summary article.