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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Join the ISO Research & Innovation Network. Share your ideas.

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

ISO Research Grant 2024

We are thrilled to announce the opening of the 2024 edition of the ISO Research Grant! You can find all the details about the theme and requirements in the request for proposal (pdf).

The Grant is awarded annually to a postgraduate student or a team (Masters, PhD or post-doc) to conduct a research study related to a theme proposed by ISO. This year’s focus is on “Standards and cybersecurity.”

To apply for the ISO Research Grant, send your letter of motivation, CV and research proposal by email to before the deadline on Monday 1st July 2024, 23:59 (CEST)

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Climate Action
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
A new partnership with the Delft University of Technology could help identify opportunities for global climate adaptation standards to help coastal communities that are threatened by rising waters.
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

Read more about global trends and how these link to ISO’s work in the ISO Trend Report 2022. What impact could these trends have on International Standardization? What future opportunities do they hold?

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.

Discover future opportunities for International Standardization.
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 are looking for something specific, try the keyword search.

Recent publications

Standards help create more efficient markets, facilitate international trade, and support innovation. Previous research has examined the positive impact of standards on economic growth, though this has mostly focused on developed countries. The purpose of this study is to add to this evidence base by …

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.


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 …


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’?


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.