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 maximise 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, access our case studies that demonstrate the benefits of standards.

Access a wide range of research that demonstrates the benefits of standards

ISO’s materials are grouped into the following areas:


Student browsing books in a library

The 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.
In light of the global situation regarding COVID-19 and a resulting change in priorities, the ISO Research Grant will not be awarded in 2020. A new call for proposals is expected to be launched in early 2021

Join the ISO Research and Innovation network. Share your ideas.

This network has been created by the ISO Research and Innovation (R&I) unit with the aim of creating a community to discuss, promote and conduct research and innovation activities related to standardization.

The R&I network will also help you keep up to date with the latest news in standardization research and the activities of ISO. More information is available in this brochure.
Join us at!


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. With this, we can draw some conclusions about …