German-Mexican QI Dialogue: Defining the Work Plan 2021
More than 100 people joined this year’s Annual Working Group Meeting of the German-Mexican Dialogue on Quality Infrastructure on 16 December 2020. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic the meeting was held virtually. It was co-chaired by Mr. Stefan Schnorr, Director General for Digital and Innovation Policy from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and Dr Ernesto Acevedo Fernández, Vice Minister for Industry, Commerce and Competitiveness from the Mexican Ministry of Economy (SE).
At the annual meeting, high-level representatives from the Mexican and German government, the industry sector and relevant QI institutions reviewed the work done throughout the year and discussed new topics. The topics were brought up by industry representatives, QI-Institutions and public sector from both countries.
Setting common goals for the upcoming year
The Work Plan 2021 signed by BMWi and SE sets the joint objectives for the upcoming year in relevant QI topics. For one, industry and public sector representatives will continue working together on improving machinery and plant safety through further harmonisation with international standards. Moreover, experts from both countries will work on the right QI framework for electro-mobility as well as for railway systems.
Also, the digitalisation and development of Industrie 4.0 is reflected within the new Work Plan. Both sides agreed to work on a common understanding on the QI principles needed to further promote and develop the digitalisation of the economy and Industrie 4.0. The application of international standards is crucial to guarantee interoperability - for example the OPC UA standard for machine to machine communication - as well as cybersecurity along supply chains.
Furthermore, both sides agreed to work jointly on improving the safety of medical devices, such as electronic medical products. Finally, SE and BMWi stressed the importance of a systemic approach on QI. Therefore, they will look closer into conformity assessment, accreditation and market surveillance during the next year.
Germany and Mexico - a strong QI partnership
Alfonso Guati Rojo, Director General of the General Bureau of Technical Regulations and Standards of the SE, thanked the BMWi and its Global Project Quality Infrastructure for the great work done during 2020. He stressed that the bilateral dialogue is of high relevance for Mexico, as the exchanges about the new Quality Infrastructure law and its publication in July this year have shown. At the same time, Mr. Guati Rojo mentioned that there is still a lot of work ahead in order to publish the ordinance for the implementation of the new law, which SE needs to develop until August 2021 at the latest.
Mr. Schnorr (BMWi) concluded that the German-Mexican Dialogue on QI underlines the strong and close partnership between both countries. He acknowledged the great personal engagement and openness of Vice Minister Dr. Acevedo Fernández and Director General Mr. Guati Rojo (both SE). He thanked all the attendees not only for their participation at the annual meeting, but also for their involvement throughout the whole year and invited everyone to take part actively during the next year. Finally, Vice Minister Dr. Acevedo Fernández closed by emphasising the importance of the bilateral cooperation, underlining the commitment both countries have proven: working hard, with enthusiasm, efficiency and energy so that the Work Plan can be fully implemented in 2021.