Astra Door Controls MD Phil Gallagher has been working with Small Business Standards (SBS), the European Commission organisation representing the interests of SMEs in Europe, to help improve the way in which European Standards can help small businesses innovate and compete in the European market. This culminated in him being part of the panel at a standards Q&A chaired by the political editor of the FT and attended by senior figures from BSi and the World Trade Organisation amongst others.
SBS is a European non-profit association which aims to represent and defend small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the standardisation process at European and international levels. Phil Gallagher was part of the panel discussion at SBS’s Annual Conference in Brussels that was entitled ‘SME-compatible standards: a prerequisite for market access?’
The debate addressed issues around the ways in which standards can help and hinder SMEs to compete in the EU and asked if all standards be tested for their SME compatibility, especially if they are intended to support EU policy.
“The debate was very wide ranging and frank and gave a UK SME a great chance to engage with some of the key people in standards policy development from across Europe and the world,” says Phil. “Standards are a very important factor in the UK hardware industry and at Astra we believe that it is vital that standards drive and reflect the very best practice in design, fire safety and specification.”
Adam Pinney is Expert Coordinator at SBS and believes that robust and objective standards are a vital means to help SMEs compete on a level playing field across the EU and further afield. “SMEs represent 99% of all European companies, and standards are vital to help them compete effectively,” he says. “Strong and reasonable standards facilitate product compliance, foster innovation, and promote competitiveness. Improving compatibility and interoperability will simplify and reduce the cost of product development, and speed time to-market for SMEs.”
Philip Gallagher is managing director of Astra Door Controls, a leading UK manufacturer of concealed door closers. He is one of the UK fire door industry’s leading experts on door closers, Philip is a passionate advocate for the correct specification, installation and maintenance of fire doors. He has been instrumental in the specification of tens of thousands of fire doors in apartments, commercial buildings and hotels across the globe, and played a significant part in the development of a number of innovative door closers including the CE Marked 3000 Series of jamb-mounted concealed closers. Astra is a member of the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers and the Door Hardware Federation in the UK.