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100th Anniversary of Czech-Slovak Technical Standardization Issue number
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      Modern institutionalised Czechoslovak standardisation dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The overall authority with responsibility for standards was founded in 1922, as a result of many discussions initiated by the Masaryk Academy of Labour. The Czechoslovak Association for General Standardisation was officially established when all parties came to an agreement on 28th December 1922. The organisation was founded as a non-profit-making company, funded through its members – commercial enterprises, especially thanks to prof. Dr. Ing. Vladimír List (1877 – 1971), the initiator of these discussions. The book of standards (Normalizácia), published in 1930 by the Czech Scientific Institution for the Propagation of Technical Literature, has traditionally been considered as one of the key works of the literature of standards of the period. However, the promising boom in Czechoslovak standardisation was interrupted by World War Two in 1939.

      Less than a month after the end of the World War II., prof. Vladimír List once again took the initiative and tried to reopen the Czechoslovak Association for General Standardisation. He justified the need of standardisation, emphasising the requirements of a centrally planned economy. It was necessary to start the consolidation of the organisational structure of standardisation and begin to revise the standards to meet contemporary needs. The overall view was that technical standards should be generally binding. This issue was finally resolved after the nationalisation of standardisation. In 1951, the Office for Standards was established as an independent body within the state administration. Standardisation and patent policy were unified after a reorganisation of the management of technical development in 1956. The Office for Inventions and Standardisation (SÚVN), a new central authority within the state administration responsible for technical standardisation, inventions, discoveries and improvement proposals, was founded, with a branch in Bratislava.

      The revolutionary political changes of 1989 meant a new beginning for Czechoslovak technical standardisation. The creation of ČSN (Czechoslovak Technical Standards) was characterised by a strong orientation towards the implementation of European and international standards. The principle that standards would not be fully binding was introduced. 

      On 16th December 1992, the government adopted a decision to establish a new central body as part of the state apparatus – the Slovak Office of Standards, Metrology and Testing. On 1st January 1993, its chairman created the Slovak Standards Institute as an organisation with its own budgetary responsibility, based in Bratislava. However, the institute was dissolved on 31st December 2013 and became the technical standardisation division within the organisational structure of the Slovak Office of Standards, Metrology and Testing. Its present primary goal is to create a competitive and effective technical environment, fulfil the needs for technical standardisation and actively communicate with industrial and professional unions, associations and chambers as well as other entities during the creation of European and Slovak technical standards and information regarding technical standards.

Dušan Butaš

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