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This panel presents a selection of novel distribution network state estimation developments that aim to fully enable and support the required smart grid functionality associated with the integration of renewable energy sources, service restoration, distribution automation and demand side participation. A smart distribution network perspective will be addressed with regard to advances in state estimation for smart distribution networks. Specific details of US, Canada, China and European R&D projects will also be presented. In addition the importance of state estimation is addressed in this panel in order to provide secure, scalable and interoperable smart grid functionality both within and external to smart distribution networks.