Joint Advisory Group at the 83rd IEC General Meeting in Shanghai

Joint Advisory Group at the 83rd IEC General Meeting in Shanghai

| Volker Blume
2019-11-09 short info

Germany to chair the new IEC Joint Advisory Group

A new platform is being brought to life within the IEC – the Joint Advisory Group. It will promote future discussion between different technical committees. Johannes Koch from VDE DKE will assume the role of chair for this group. In an interview with the DKE editorial department, Johannes Koch explained more about the project’s background and aims, as well as his role.


Johannes Koch

Interview with Johannes Koch, Chair of the Joint Advisory Group

Johannes Koch

Johannes Koch


DKE editorial department: What is the Joint Advisory Group and why has it been founded?

Koch: The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) as a platform for the structured and cross-domain exchange of ideas between three Technical Committees (TCs). Among these TCs are

With digital interfaces, innovative technologies already offer numerous solutions for a wide range domains which previously only had very few overlaps with one another, and which mean industry boundaries will disappear in the future.

Communication technologies can, for example, be used in the entertainment industry and even in the health sector. Both domains place very different regulatory and safety-related requirements on the same technology. This so-called convergence of technology also has an increasing effect on national, European and international standardization. Companies must increasingly acquire knowledge in adjacent domains outside of their own core competencies, as do standards bodies who need to rethink and continue to develop existing platforms and committee structures.

Joint Advisory Group: Draft Scope

„The Joint Advisory Group (JAG) ‚TC100, TC124 & SyCAAL‘ serves as an open and transparent joint platform between the three committees and their experts. It has been established to foster cooperation in these three neighboring technical domains and develop a mutual understanding in the standardization work. JAG will establish new frameworks and work flows, while the scope and competence of the three committees involved will not be affected. The identification of areas of cooperation is an ongoing task and requires regular annual meetings.“

DKE editorial department: What example of overlaps from the everyday occurs to you?

Koch: Let’s take the example of a Smart watch: The Smart watch is predominately identified as a traditional wearable, for which established a foundation for standardization and regulation already exist. However, wearables offer users ever more functions, creating an overlap with the health sector.

This may be the case, for example, if an older person or someone with support needs wears a Smart watch on their wrist which is connected to an emergency call system and automatically reports a fall via built-in sensors. Here, two use cases overlap which should also be covered in the standardization. The use of graphic or audiovisual components thus again illustrates the useful cooperation and technical discussion between TC 100, TC 124 and SyC AAL.

DKE editorial department: What concrete aims will the Joint Advisory Group pursue?

Koch: The first JAG project will begin on the topics of “Terminology” and “Use Cases”. It will first be clarified as to whether uniform terms are currently used in standardization or whether contradictory terminology exists in places. This intention essentially forms the basis for all future JAG activities. At the same time, we of course want to deal with the existing use cases and determine the content overlaps of the three committees.

It is the first time that experts from different TCs at IEC – outside of normal liaisons – have exchanged documents with one another. In the future, the JAG will be able to discuss applications for standards and projects to ensure the best possible processing of these. It is especially important for us to emphasize that the competences of the TCs will not be restricted by the JAG in any way! One of the most essential aims of the JAG is, with the help of structured information exchange, to define mutual activity areas and projects in order to align the standardization to the requirements and developments of the different markets. If everything works in the way we hope, the JAG could be viewed as “best practice” within the IEC.

DKE editorial department: You have been selected to be the chair of the Joint Advisory Group - what are your key tasks?

Koch: As chair of the JAG, I have the opportunity to push the cooperation between the international committees forward. The DKE has always broken new ground in standardization and has established new formats, both national and internationally, so we are staying true to tradition.

For me, that really means keeping in close contact with the respective TC chairs and regularly inviting them to web conferences in which all international experts from the three committees can take part. In addition, the JAG set up a working meeting at the 83rd IEC General Meeting 2019 in Shanghai with the aim of establishing processes and responsibilities in terms of dynamic and quick standardization. We will therefore aim to hold a working meeting like this at the IEC General meetings in the coming years.