SAN ANTONIO - ASTM International has launched the “Year of the SME: Small Business in Action” at its first major meeting of 2016. 

Throughout the year, ASTM will emphasize how input from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) is crucial to creating high-quality technical standards. ASTM will also highlight advantages SMEs gain by being members, including ASTM’s consensus-driven approach that gives them an equal voice and vote alongside representatives of larger companies and among others.

“I’m thrilled that we are celebrating SMEs this year,” said Ralph Paroli, ASTM International’s Chairman for 2016. “Thousands of small businesses around the world work through ASTM to make their voices heard, to help them compete globally, to drive innovation, to create jobs, and to network. ASTM’s open process and low membership cost make it easy for small manufacturers and others to participate on a level playing field.”

Paroli, Director of Research and Development in Measurement Science and Standards at the National Research Council of Canada, made the announcement at ASTM’s January Committee Week in San Antonio, TX. Throughout the week, more than 600 technical experts and others are creating and revising standards in a variety of fields, including nuclear, environmental, chemicals, textiles, paints and more.

ASTM has also launched, which features key benefits for small businesses involved in ASTM; success stories and testimonials from small-business members; information on meetings, trainings, awards and leadership opportunities; and information on how to join or renew membership (

At its April, May and June Committee Weeks, ASTM leaders will moderate panel discussions featuring small businesses that have experienced growth and success through ASTM involvement. For meeting information, visit Throughout 2016, SMEs will be highlighted in Standardization News with features and first-person case studies.

Entrepreneurs and SMEs provide the majority of private-sector jobs worldwide while accounting for more than half of global GDP.