Defining international standards for nanotechnology

You might think that by now the definitions of terms like “nanotechnology” and “nanosystems” would be firmly established. In fact the process of arriving at an international consensus is more difficult than you might expect. Representing Foresight in the effort to define these and other terms is David R. Forrest, Ph.D., President of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing and a Senior Fellow at the Foresight Nanotech Institute, who serves as Foresight’s representative on the Technical Advisory Group to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on the ISO Technical Committee on Nanotechnology (TC/229). From Dr. Forrest’s report on “Foresight’s Standards Work for Molecular Nanosystems“:

The process is glacial: ISO has been at this for three years now and there is still no ratified definition of “Nanotechnology” let alone the myriad of other related terms. Foresight’s continued presence and participation in the ISO process helps to maintain a focus on nanosystems, maintains our stature in the international Nanotechnology community as a leader in education and policy issues, and underscores our commitment to consensus standards as a cornerstone of responsible development of molecular nanotechnology.


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