ISO has set an ambitious goal to see international standards used everywhere. To realize this goal, we must work to demonstrate the benefits that international standards bring. ISO’s research activities aim to understand and communicate how standards support economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability.

Despite the widespread use of standards, they often remain hidden, working modestly behind the scenes to underpin the technology and services that we rely on. Sometimes the contribution made by standards can be hard to explain or quantify. ISO promotes and conducts research so we can better understand the impacts of standards and how to maximize their benefits. From the results of this research, we produce materials to help communicate key findings to businesses, learning institutions and the wider public. Our goal is not only to foster a better understanding of the advantages that standards bring to both organizations and society, but also to build interest in taking part in international standardization. To find out more, hear from businesses and browse ISO case studies that clearly show the benefits that standards can bring.

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The ISO R&I Network is a community to discuss, promote and conduct research and innovation activities related to standardization.

Keep up to date with the latest news in standardization research and the activities of ISO. More information.

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ISO research grant

The ISO Research Grant is awarded annually to one postgraduate student (Masters, PhD or post-doc) to conduct a research study related to a theme proposed by ISO. The grant amount is 25,000 CHF. A different theme is proposed each year, but the broad focus is on evaluating the impacts of international standards. In establishing this grant, ISO aims to:

  • Promote research that will result in new knowledge about the impacts of International Standards;
  • Motivate students and raise the profile of standardization as an attractive research topic;
  • Foster links with higher education institutions and promote education about standardization.

ISO research Grant 2022

We are thrilled to announce the opening of the 2022 edition of the ISO Research Grant! This year’s focus is on “International Standards and climate action”. ISO recently advanced its climate agenda by signing the London Declaration. To celebrate this achievement, we would like to further investigate how the use of international standards can support adaptation strategies and initiatives for a more resilient future.

You can find all the relevant details in the ISO Research Grant 2022 call for proposalsTo apply for the ISO Research Grant 2022, send your letter of motivation, CV and research proposal by email to [email protected] before the deadline on 08 July 2022 (deadline extended).

SDG 13
Climate Action
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
The London Declaration
The London Declaration, signed in September 2021, defines ISO’s commitment in supporting the climate agenda.
Researchers to look at health benefits of ISO standards
We talk to the team that was recently awarded the ISO Research Grant to find out how their work will establish links between standards and improving healthcare for all.

Foresight in ISO

Part of the ISO Strategy 2030 involves ISO examining external drivers of change and evaluating their impact on our organization. Using foresight tools and methodologies, ISO is following global trends, analyzing their links to existing ISO work, and asking what their implications for standardization could be. Our ultimate aim is to better understand the context in which we operate, so that ISO can effectively meet emerging market needs and help to shape a more sustainable future.

ISO Foresight trend report 2022

We are thrilled to announce the publication of the 2022 edition of the ISO Foresight Trend Report! Read more about global trends and how these link to ISO’s work. What impact could these trends have on International Standardization? What future opportunities do they hold?

ISO Foresight trend report
Discover future opportunities for International Standardization.
ISO Strategy 2030
The ISO Strategy 2030 outlines our vision and our mission for the next 10 years and a set of goals and priorities to help us get there. The three goals are stepping stones to our vision. We will focus on six priorities to achieve our goals and maximize our impact.

ISO research library

Access the ISO Research Library for research about standards. ISO has compiled research from academia, international organizations and ISO Members and more. The ISO Research Library contains a growing collection of publications about standards, standards development and the impacts of standardization. The Library is designed to support the work of ISO members, researchers and others with an interest in standards. You can browse the collection using the search fields, or, if you’re looking for something specific, try the keyword search.


Research on standards and standardization.

ISO methodology
Hear from businesses and browse ISO case studies that clearly show the benefits that standards can bring

Economic impact of standards - Methodological guidance

This report is a guidance document aimed at standards organizations around the world that are interested in assessing what impact standards have on the local economy.


Standards and innovation - What does the research say?

Using a combination of academic research and case studies, this paper explores the complex relationship between standards and innovation. It summarizes the current state of research in this area and assesses the theoretical and practical implications of this interdependent relationship. The paper provides …


Standards & economic growth: ISO members’ research on the impact of standards on their national economies

Many of us believe that standards have a positive impact on society, but with such a large range of standards types and topics, how can we measure this impact? ISO members around the globe have probed this question, asking ‘what is the impact of standards on our national economy’?


International Standards and Trade - What does the research say?

The relationship between standards and trade is a topic of great interest in the standardization community. In this synthesis review, a selection of emblematic studies draws together findings on the impacts of standards on trade across multiple contexts.