ANSI Establishes Nanotechnology Standards Panel

Aug. 12, 2004
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has formed the Nanotechnology Standards Panel (ANSI-NSP), a new coordinating body for the development of standards in the area of nanotechnology.

The panel will convene for the first time on Sept. 29-30, 2004, in Gaithersburg, Md., to focus its initial work on nomenclature and terminology.

ANSI was approached by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the president to address this area of standardization in support of academics, various industries, the investment community and government agencies that utilize nanotechnology.

According to Dr. John H. Marburger, director of the OSTP, "As new materials, structures, devices and systems are developed that derive their properties and function due to their nanoscale dimensions, it will become increasingly important to the . . . stakeholders to have an agreed-upon nomenclature with which to communicate."

Nanotechnology refers to the manufacturing or manipulating of matter at the atomic and molecular level, or nanoscale.

A steering committee has been formed to guide the efforts of the ANSI-NSP. It will be co-chaired by representatives of government, industry and the academic community. The co-chairs include Dr. Clayton Teague, director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO); Dr. Vicki Colvin, professor of Chemistry at Rice University and director of the National Science Foundation-sponsored Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN); and Dr. David Bishop, vice president of Nanotechnology Research, Lucent Technologies, and president of the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium.

"Thousands of organizations around the world are pursuing the promise of nanotechnology, and as research and development in this field evolves, stakeholders will be increasingly reliant upon standardization to guide work in this area," explained ANSI president and CEO Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz. "ANSI's experience in bringing together diverse interests for standardization efforts will be very helpful in meeting the needs of the rapidly expanding nanotechnology community."

The ANSI-NSP is open to all interested parties. ANSI has issued a call to organizations and individuals working or familiar with nanotechnology to consider the opportunity to participate on the panel and its Steering Committee. More information about the committee is available on the ANSI Web site at www.ansi.org/nsp.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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