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ANSI Releases Workshop Report from Standards Wars: Myth or Reality?


New York, Jul 01, 2011

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standardization system, has released a workshop report summarizing the range of perspectives voiced at the May 12 ANSI workshop, Standards Wars: Myth or Reality?

The workshop brought together more than 200 attendees and over 70 more via teleconference from a broad cross-section of stakeholder groups to examine the implications of conflict and duplication in the standards world. Another 1,000 individuals followed the proceedings via Twitter using the hashtag #standardswars.

The workshop continued an important conversation that has been ongoing since at least the 1970s: a conversation about how – and whether – conflict and duplication should be addressed in the standards and conformance world.

Encompassing standards and conformance in the broadest sense – including activities both within and outside of the ANSI Federation – the workshop provided attendees with an opportunity to understand the various constituencies that are impacted by standards development, including users of standards, standards developing organizations and consortia, and specifiers of standards.

Representatives from government, industry, standards developing organizations, conformity assessment bodies, consortia, academia, consumers, and other interested stakeholders shared their insights and perspectives on standards development, coordination, and competition. Participants also discussed tools to identify potentially conflicting and duplicative standards projects as early as possible in their development, including NSSN, the search engine for standards, which is currently under redevelopment.

Amid the range of perspectives voiced, the workshop and outcome report affirm that while conflict and duplication in standards development are deserving of continual review, the U.S. voluntary consensus standardization system remains strong, effective, and responsive to the nation’s needs.

As a next step, two additional workshops will be held during the next 18 months. More focused in scope, these workshops will explore the enhanced NSSN and its use.

The workshop report and related workshop documents are available here.


The May 12 ANSI workshop, Standards Wars: Myth or Reality?, was organized by ANSI with the support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel