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What is Nanotechnology?

The application of scientific knowledge to manipulate and control matter in the nanoscale in order to make size- and structure-dependent properties and phenomena, as distinct from those associated with individual atoms or molecules or with bulk materials. 

Note: Manipulation and control includes material synthesis.
ISO Definition - Reference: ISO/TS 80004-1:2010. Nanotechnologies – Vocabulary – Part 1: Core Terms

About Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a revolutionary new technology and a key economic driver for the twenty-first century.  Nanotechnology promises significant social benefits, including enhancements in medical diagnosis and treatment, more efficient energy sources, lighter, stronger and cheaper materials and electronic products and cleaner, cheaper water.
On the other hand, the limited but growing scientific knowledge on the effects of nanomaterials has led to concern over the environmental, health and safety risks potentially associated with nanotechnology and its products.
International standardisation will play a critical role in ensuring that the full potential of nanotechnology is realised and that nanotechnology is safely integrated into society.  Standards will help create a smooth transition from the laboratory to the marketplace, promote progress along the nanotechnology value chain – from nanoscale materials that form the building blocks for components and devices to the integration of these devices into functional systems – and facilitate global trade.
For Reference to ISO/TC 229 Business Plan, click here.
For Additional information on Hot Topics – ISO/TC 229, click here

Australia’s Participation in the work of International Organization of Standardization (ISO)

Standards Australia’s Nanotechnology Technology Committee (NT-001) coordinates Australian input into ISO Nanotechnology Committee (ISO/TC 229) and disseminates information about ISO nanotechnology Standards in Australia.
NT-001 membership consists of Nominating Organisations that represent various interest groups across Australian industries. The Nominating Organisation appoints a representative to represent the views of that organisation’s interest group during the development of a Standard. 
Nominating Organisations currently participating in Standards Australia’s Standards Development activity include:
  • Accord Australasia
  • ARC Nanotechnology Network
  • Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
  • Australian Council of Trade Unions
  • Australian Industry Group
  • Consumers Federation of Australia
  • Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia Ltd
  • Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
  • Engineers Australia
  • Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers
  • Friends of The Earth (Australia)
  • Insurance Council of Australia Limited
  • Medical Technology Association of Australia Ltd
  • Monash University
  • National Association of Testing Authorities Australia
  • National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme
  • National Measurement Institute
  • NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change
  • Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association Incorporated
  • Safe Work Australia
  • Safety Institute of Australia (Inc)
  • WorkCover New South Wales 

About the ISO Nanotechnology Committee

In accordance with ISO’s strategic plan, ISO/TC 229 develops robust Standards and other deliverables relevant to nanotechnologies that will:
  • Support the sustainable and responsible development and global dissemination of these emerging technologies;
  • Facilitate global trade in nanotechnologies, nanotechnology products and nanotechnology enabled systems and products;
  • Support improvement in quality, safety, security, consumer and environmental protection, together with the rational use of natural resources in the context of nanotechnologies; and
  • Promote good practice in the production, use and disposal of nanomaterials, nanotechnology products and nanotechnology enabled systems and products. 

ISO/TC 229 Structure

Subcommittee/Working Group Title
TC 229/CAG Chairman Advisory Group 
TC 229/TG 2 Consumer and societal dimensions of nanotechnologies
TC 229/TG 3 Nanotechnologies and sustainability
TC 229/JWG 1 Terminology and nomenclature
TC 229/JWG2 Measurement and characterization
TC 229/WG 3 Health, Safety and Environmental Aspects of Nanotechnologies
TC 229/WG 4 Material specifications
For current projects, click here.
For current publications, click here.
ISO is working closely with IEC/TC 113 - Nanotechnology standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems. 
The scope of IEC/TC 113 is to standardise the technologies relevant to electrical and electronic products and systems in the field of nanotechnology in close cooperation with other committees of IEC and ISO/TC 229.
For the strategic business plan of IEC/TC 113, click here.

Getting Involved in Nanotechnologies Standards Development

Standards Australia encourages interested organisations to participate in the work program. Individual experts can participate in a number of different ways:
  • Become a member of NT-001 Working Groups or Task Groups;
  • Become a nominated expert on ISO Project Groups subject to Standards Australia’s endorsement and approval;
  • Contribute to document review during consultation;
  • Provide other input.

Additional Information

For additional information about the work of NT-001 and ISO/TC 229 please contact