Every day, nanotechnology becomes more commercially viable across an expanding range of industry sectors. The properties and functions of novel new structures, devices and systems are directly tied to their nanoscale dimensions.
As progress in nanotechnology processes and the manufacture of nanomaterials continues to accelerate, a growing list of stakeholder needs has arisen. At the top of that list is the fundamental building block for any emerging industry—consistent and globally-accepted nomenclature and terminology. Following closely are specifications and tests needed to support nanoscale measurement and characterization; and methods for evaluating how nanomaterials could potentially impact human health and safety, as well as the environment.
Established by ANSI in August 2004, the ANSI-Nanotechnology Standards Panel (ANSI-NSP) provides the framework within which stakeholders can work cooperatively to promote, accelerate and coordinate the timely development of voluntary consensus standards that are intended to meet identified needs related to nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization.
The ANSI-NSP was established to achieve the following:
- Coordinate and provide a forum for academia, individual industries, standards developing organizations, and governmental entities to define needs, determine work plans and establish priorities for updating standards or creating new standards.
- Solicit participation from nanotechnology-related sectors and academia that have not traditionally participated in the voluntary standards system, and work cooperatively to achieve the mission of the ANSI-NSP.
- Facilitate the timely development and adoption of standards responsive to identified needs in the area of nanotechnology in general and nomenclature/terminology specifically.
- Facilitate and promote cross-sector collaborative efforts between standards developing organizations to establish work plans and develop joint and/or complementary standards.
- Where standards do not exist, obtain agreement from a standard developer to initiate development of the standard in a timely manner.
- Establish and maintain liaison with other national, regional and international standards efforts addressing nanotechnology issues so as to create identical or harmonize existing standards.
- Establish and maintain a database of nanotechnology standards, accessible from the Internet, and capable of generating updates, notices, and reports.
- Identify any impediments preventing the timely adoption of needed American National Standards.
- Make widely available the results of the ANSI-NSP’s work.