International Standards for Biotechnology
25 and 26 October 2011, Geneva (Switzerland)
The importance of international standards for biotechnology
Biotechnology is a broad, complex and very fast moving field of extraordinary importance for markets and society.
The understanding of how biological systems operate and the application of science and technology to living organisms is rapidly progressing in a large variety of fields (including medicine/healthcare, agriculture/aquaculture, industry and environment).
Accurate measurements and standards are indispensable founding elements of biosciences and of their application: however, even considering the substantial progress of these disciplines in recent years, there is wide spread consensus that many challenges remain to be faced.
Several international organizations, research and metrology institutes, industry federations and professional societies are engaged in standards-related work in the field, and more than 10 ISO technical committees are involved in the development of International Standards somehow related to biotechnology.
In this context, the investigation of existing and new requirements for standardization in the field of biotechnology is a priority to be addressed by ISO.
In 2009, the ISO Council established a task force composed of experts, entrusted with analyzing priority areas of potential interest to ISO, in domains selected through the ISO members’ input: Terminology, Measurement and characterization for biotechnology/bioscience, and Application of biotechnology in the Industry/environment field.
The draft list of priority areas indicated by the ISO task force needs to be validated by the community of leading experts active in biotechnology standardization, with a view to ensure that ISO work that may be expanded or initiated in this field addresses relevant and high priority sector needs, supporting and adding value to existing initiatives.
Goals and outcomes
The workshop is designed to be an opportunity to promote a dialogue among the organizations most active in standardization for biotechnology, to foster better understanding among the key players and to capture input, recommendations on relevant matters and possible piority action items which will be channelled for consideration to the existing ISO technical and governance bodies.