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Global View of International Standards and Measurements: Challenges and Concerns for Nanotechnologies



Herbert S. Bennett


We first discuss why international standards are important for nanomanufacturing and business models. The scopes and structures of the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 113 (IEC TC 113) on nano-electrotechnologies and the International Standards Organization Technical Committee 229 (ISO TC 229) on nanotechnologies provide the framework for viewing the global challenges and concerns facing nanomanufacturing. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Energetics Incorporated collaborated with the IEC TC 113 in 2008 to survey members of the international nanotechnologies community about priorities for standards and measurements to accelerate innovations in and commercialization of nanotechnologies.[1] Statistically analyzing the 459 survey responses from 45 countries gives a global consensus on priorities to address challenges and concerns for which international standards may contribute to appropriate solutions. For example, pair-wise correlations of the survey data show that a strong bimodal distribution exists for the cross-cutting technology area of environmental, health, and safety applications and effects (EHS) of nanotechnologies. EHS is an area that has considerable global attention and concern. Those who assigned the highest priority to medical products enabled by nanotechnologies assigned the highest priority to EHS. However, those who assigned the highest priority to energy products enabled by nanotechnologies assigned EHS a very low priority. The global consensus of the survey respondents suggests that international standards organizations and national measurement institutes should focus initially on standards and measurements for electronic and electrical properties and fabrication tools that support performance assessments of nanotechnology enabled energy products, medical products, and sensors (e.g., bio-sensors).


Bennett, H. (2010), Global View of International Standards and Measurements: Challenges and Concerns for Nanotechnologies, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created August 30, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017