A journey through time
When you turn 100, you have a history and can tell many stories: How did it all start? What are the milestones? Which continuities can be seen? Where did ruptures occur? In a nutshell: How did you become what you are today?
The timeline looks back on the history of Austrian Standards – without nostalgia and without glorification, but rather in the awareness that we are standing on firm foundations from which we can look to the future and resolutely continue on the path of international orientation.
The Österreichische Normenausschuss für Industrie und Gewerbe ÖNIG(Austrian Standards Committee for Industry and Commerce) is founded at the House of Industry on 23 September. Around 400 experts develop mechanical, electrical and automotive engineering standards. The first president is Wilhelm Exner, initiator of scientific-technical institutions, such as TGM, the Technical Museum, TÜV and the Austrian Business Association.
The third international conference of national standardizing associations is held in New York. It saw the birth of the International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA). Austria is also represented among the 18 participants – by ÖNIG’s Vice-President Paul Bretschneider.
ÖNIG celebrates its 10th anniversary and, subsequently, hosts the first international standardization meeting in Vienna.
Re-promulgation of the Federal Constitutional Law by ordinance of the Federal Chancellor of 1 January 1930: Legislation on standardization becomes a federal competence (Section 1 Art. 10 (1)).
To mark standardized products, a special collective trademark is registered – subsequently known as ÖNORM GEPRÜFT.
The activities of standardization continuously widen. Following the examples of Germany, Great Britain and Sweden, ÖNIG changes its name to ÖNA – Österreichischer Normenausschuss (Austrian Standards Committee).
A new start (II). On 14 October, 25 national standardization organizations meet in London to set up the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which begins its activities on 23 February 1947.
ÖNA is a founding member and, one year later, already manages two international secretariats: firefighting apparatus and reinforced concrete.
Start of European Standardization: The national standardization bodies of the EEC and EFTA countries start harmonizing their national standards and establish the European Standards Coordinating Committee (Comité Européen de Coordination des Normes, CEN) that subsequently evolved into the European Committee for Standardization (Comité Européen de Normalisation, CEN).
ÖNA is renamed Österreichisches Normungsinstitut (Austrian Standards Institute) to better reflect the diversity of subjects covered by standards.
The name is abbreviated ON instead of ÖN because the letter Ö would result in “difficulties in foreign languages and electronic data processing”.
First World Standards Day. ISO proclaims the day of its official foundation (14 October 1946) World Standards Day. Ever since, it has been celebrated every year together with IEC (electrical engineering) and ITU (telecommunications) to raise awareness of the importance of international standards.
With the “New Approach”, standardization takes on a significant role in the development of the internal market. Ever since, harmonized European Standards have supported compliance with the essential requirements of European directives. They are drawn up on the basis of EU and EFTA mandates in the technical committees of CEN and CENELEC (electrical engineering).
In the year of Austria’s accession to the EU, ON celebrates its 75th anniversary at a festive event held in the hall of the Belvedere Palace where the Austrian State Treaty was signed in 1955. In his speech, Federal President Dr. Thomas Klestil lauded the “brilliant idea of standardization”.
In the run-up to the Eastern Enlargement on 1 May 2004, the number of CEN and CENELEC members also rises. By the end of 2003 all the national standardization organizations of the ten accession countries are full members of the “European standardization community”. Bulgaria and Romania follow in 2007. Today CEN and CENELEC have 34 members.
“Construction norms” – i.e. not only standards but also legislation, regulations, grant guidelines, etc. – are criticized for pushing up the cost of building and housing. Therefore, Austrian Standards launches the “Austrian dialogue forum on construction – working together for clear and simple rules for building” together with the Federal Construction Trade Organization in order to initiate solutions and simplifications.
On 1 January, the new Standardization Act becomes effective after controversial discussions – also at the international level. In spite of a more difficult framework, Austrian Standards takes on the tasks resulting from the new Standardization Act “out of responsibility for Austria as a business location and based on great trust”.