John’s Department provides a focal point for business development in new areas for standards-making. These include policies on major issues such as service standardization or defence procurement standards, as well as putting together, in consultation with stakeholders, proposals for specific standards activities in new areas, therefore currently including electric vehicles and smart grids. Linking standardization with research and other innovation programmes forms an important theme. John joined CEN in 1997. Previously, he had been responsible for external coordination of the activities of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). An economist and linguist, John's previously worked in the United Kingdom administration, with a bias towards European Union issues.