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Recent Developments in Nanotechnology Standards
Volume 10, Issue 2

Christopher Bell, Ross Garsson, and Jennifer Tomsen

Nanotechnology continues to be touted as the “next big thing” that will transform a wide range of economic sectors, from medicine to electronics to advanced materials. Science and research and development are at the center of these developments, trailed by policy and lawmakers who are contemplating what, if any, new governance mechanisms are necessary to advance the responsible use of nanotechnology. Perhaps less well known and understood is the work of voluntary consensus standards in this field. However, the work of standards writers is intimately bound with many of the scientific and policy issues central to the future of nanotechnology. This paper addresses standards initiatives relating to nanotechnology, with a focus on those being developed by the International Organization for Standardization, and closes with some observations on the potential impact of this standardization activity on the use of patent pools in intellectual property.

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