Organization / History

History of its foundation and development

First period (1958 - 1997)

In 1958 Mr. Robert Dubois, French chemist, had the idea of organizing a meeting among the owners or management staff of independent analysis laboratories of the different countries in the EU.

After having several meetings with the Embassies and other organizations in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy, Mr. Dubois finally summoned a first meeting that took place in the Maison de Chimie in Paris on 13 March 1959. 35 people representing these five countries, members of the EU at that time, attended the meeting.

Among the different issues discussed during that first meeting, the decision of setting up a group, which could be a valid representative to the authorities of the Common Market regarding the future decisions to be made and, which could be significant to our profession, is worth to be remarked.

The name of Union Internationale given to des Laboratoires Indépendants was proposed by a Dutch delegate. Mr. Dubois was appointed first Secretary-General. Both of them unanimously accepted. He officially informed the EU (being then M.F. Ortoli its Secretary-General) of the foundation of the U.I.L.I. and published the resolutions adopted in this meeting in the press on 13 March 1959.

Mr. Dubois also undertook negotiations to include other countries, which were non-members of the Common Market: Greece, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark and Ireland, but he did not succeed in this undertaking at that time.

However, the British eventually made contact and two delegates attended the second meeting of the U.I.L.I. that took place in Hamburg on September 1960. Nevertheless, it was not until 1961 that Mr. Dubois and Mr. Boddaert, during a visit to London, managed to obtain the acceptance to the British Association.

The first by-laws of the Union were discussed and passed in Hamburg during this second meeting on 2 September 1960.

Sometime later the official document that certified the legal existence of the U.I.L.I. was granted. It is considered to be a Decree of the Ministry of the Interior of the French Republic dated on 15 June 1961.

The following general assemblies took place in the cities and dates indicated in Tabel 1 below:

1 1959 Paris France
2 1960 Hamburg Germany
3 1963 Amsterdam The Netherlands
4 1966 Leamington United Kingdom
5 1969 Brussels Belgium
6 1971 Tours France
7 1973 Wiesbaden Germany
8 1976 Maastricht The Netherlands
9 1978 Bath United Kingdom
10 1981 Barcelona Spain
11 1984 Washington U.S.A.
12 1987 Copenhagen Denmark
13 1990 Rotterdam The Netherlands
14 1993 Cambridge United Kingdom
15 1995 Brussels Belgium
16 1997 Madrid Spain

During these 47 years since its foundation, the U.I.L.I. has been gradually increasing the number of laboratories, as well as the member countries.

This growth was obviously slow but steady. On the one hand, it reflects the need of setting up a strong group that could be taken into consideration by domestic and international organizations and on the other hand, the difficulty for the different countries and their laboratories to gather within the same body not having the same concerns, especially during the years of general economic recession.

The evolution of the associations and the laboratories, which are members of the U.I.L.I. are detailed in Table 2 as follows. This table summarizes the data that are found in the ten-listed directories published until 1997.

Nr. Year National Associations Other countries with affiliates Total per country Total laboratory members
1 1968 6 0 6 135
2 1971 7 2 9 137
3 1973 7 6 13 136
4 1975 7 9 16 143
5 1978 8 10 18 159
6 1980 8 11 19 163
7 1983 9 11 20 187
8 1987 8 13 21 467
9 1990 8 15 23 772
10 1997 7 15 22 656

However, In the last record of members there is a rather decrease in the number of laboratory members.

Throughout these years the activity of the U.I.L.I., besides the ordinary meetings of the Governing Board (two by year) to guaranty the good management of the Association, has been the organization of special sessions to discuss highly important issues for the independent laboratories.

The most significant papers and reports presented and discussed are listed below:

G. Dijkstra
Year Reunion Reporters Theme
1971 Tours
6e General Assembly
    H. Boddaert Price analysis
E. Liddiard Retirement chemists
R. Goloubinow Subcontracting
1973 Wiesbaden
7e General Assembly
    W. Fresenius Environment and Pollution
H. Boddaert Legel liability
E. Liddiard Taxes
1976 Maastricht
8e General Assembly
    M. Oosting Unfair competition by state laboratories and University
E. Niël
P. Ledoux
H. Hochschewender
J. Neale
B. Oliver
1978 Bath
9e General Assembly
    E. Niël Future development of UILI
1981 Barcelone
10e General Assembly
    H. Jespen The future of UILI
7 Reporters Laboratory Accreditation Analyses in the private different countries
1981 Guernesey Symposium    
    18 papers (Members of ACS and UILI) Advances in methods of physical-chemical
1984 Washington
11e General Assembly
    B. Oliver Enlargement. Opening to the West
H. Reuss General Economics
J. Donaldson ISO accredition / certification
1987 Copenhague
12e General Assembly
    G. Berchtold Licensing and accreditation of laboratories
H. Bernth
W. Boyce Quality Management
K. Albutt
D. Stanger
H. Hochschwender The future of UILI
1988 Wiesbaden
    K. Albutt (UK) The organization of the future
R. Cienfuegos (E)
A. Bryden (F)
J. Ware (ISO/CASCO) Capacity testing in Europe
J. MacMillan (CEE)
H. Bernth (DK)
J. Summerfield (UK)
1990 Rotterdam
13e General Assembly
    E. Niël Laboratory Accreditation

And other topics
Van Leemput
N. Velthorst
1993 Cambridge
14e General Assembly and International Symposium
    J. McMillan European legislation on Consultants and Testing Laboratories
D. Stanger
B. Henderson
A. Bryden
G. Gagnon
And 14 other reporters

So far I have only made but a brief overview of the principal issues presented and discussed within the U.I.L.I. in order to highlight the interest with which our Union has followed, and even in some case has been ahead, to the evolution of these issues, especially the accreditation of the public, private and independent Trial and Analysis Laboratories. Other performance field has been especially developed by some members of U.I.L.I., among them, H. Hochschwender and above all by D. Stanger.

It deals with the active participation in ISO, ILAC, UNITED NATIONS, EUROLAB and EOTC. It is not necessary to insist on the extremely importance of making ourselves to be listened to at the different levels of these international organizations.
The publication and advertisement of our NEWSLETTER (as a rule two by year), backed by Hermann Hochschwender should be recalled.

Likewise, the general evolution of the economic and professional systems and, especially the changes in the internal structure of the laboratories, has obliged to make several changes to our by-laws, which have been accomplished in the following dates:

  • 3 June1969
  • 30 October 1978
  • 6 June1983
  • 15 June 1987
  • 24 September 1993
The last two reviews are especially important because the different possibilities of association and affiliation to U.I.L.I. were established in 1987, and in 1993, the conditions, by which a private laboratory was set to be independent, were clearly outlined.

All this activity has been accomplished thanks to some people who have spent their time and work for the attainment of our ambitions in these projects. Firstly, the founders, among them it would be fair to recall the names of Mr. Robert Dubois, Mr. Georges Wolff, Mr. Wilhelm Fresenius Henry, Mr. Boddaert, Mr. Francois Verheyden and Claude Boudet.

Also the Presidents as follows:

Georges Wolff France 1960 - 1963
Philippe Boddaert The Netherlands 1963 – 1968
M. Barent Great Britain 1968 – 1973
Wilhelm Fresenius Germany 1973 – 1978
Benito Oliver-Rodés Spain 1978 – 1984
Herman Hochschwender The United States 1984 – 1990
Ken Albutt Great Britain 1990 – 1995
Luc Scholtis T he Netherlands 1996 – 1999

It would also be fair to recall several members of the Governing Board, who have been in the Vice – Presidency or the Treasury, and who have been doing a very good work. These people are: Mr. G. Luchow, Mr. Björn Jensen, Mr. G. Caffin, Mr. Louis Ledoux, Mr. Robert Boddaert, Mr. Hans Jepsen, Ms. Anna Badravou, Mr. Eric Soers, Mr. Ron Harris, Mr. Gib McIntee and Mr. Luc Scholtis.

However, in my opinion, the history of the U.I.L.I. has been highly influenced by its Secretary-Generals, so that we can perfectly distinguish four periods or chapters in this history, during which the spirit and personality of each of them have meant a working style and even the managing style for our group.

Until 1966 the principles of the U.I.L.I. were distinguished by the efficient guidance, the concordance spirit and the work capacity of Mr. Robert Dubois.

From 1966 to 1983 the strong personality, perfectionism and strict sense of responsibility of Mr. Alfred Herzka.

From 1983 to 1994 the renewal spirit, the ability of establishing solid relationships with other international organizations and the efficiency of Mr. David Stanger.

Finally, a fourth period began with the appointment of a professional secretariat backed by Dr. John Wilson, under the guidance of drs Luc Scholtis who had all the support and confidence from the members of the Union.

To conclude, I should underline that the U.I.L.I. generously has expressed its acknowledgement to the merits of some of its members, who have been distinguished with the award of `Honorary Member` and that, until 1997, were the following:

  • Mr. R. Dubois
  • Mr. G. Wolff
  • Mr. Ph. Boddaert
  • Mr. A. Herzka
  • Mr. W. Fresenius
  • Mr. D. Stanger
  • Mr. R. Boddaert
  • Mr. H. Hochschwender
  • Mr. B. Oliver-Rodés
So far I have recalled the events and facts that, in my opinion, have been the most important ones all during these 39 years and which are part of the first time of the International Union of Independent Laboratories.

In the following 9 years, that we can consider a second period, I hope that some outstanding members will be able to continue writing our history.