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Analysis of Technical Standards in the Field of Nanotechnology
Volume 7, Issue 3

Franck Violet

Technical standardization and nanotechnology are two fields of knowledge liable to produce very fruitful results when combined, mainly because both spheres can be applied to every aspect of life, especially those involving technology. After all, isn’t the whole word made up of atoms? And isn’t this same world constantly being subjected to standards for the requirements of life in a society? This observation leads to overlaps that can be analyzed from an open-ended point of view: Nanotechnology is a new science. Its gradual arrival generates a strong need to create a structure, which could conceivably be brought about through technical standards. These standards can be prescriptive in some cases, and descriptive in others. In the context, they are fundamentally necessary. The work undertaken by both national and international standardization bodies testifies to the essential need.

Like any new science, nanotechnology is initially intimidating to consumers, workers, and, more generally, most economic actors. Moreover, because the world is so special, adaptations to certain regulations must be envisaged. Here again, technical standards should be able to make a useful contribution by acting as information relays. French and other standardization working groups are operating with that aim in mind. All in all, a wealth of lessons can be learnt by analyzing the overlapping areas between technical standards and nanotechnology.

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