The story of WAITRO began in 1970; WAITRO was founded in Vienna and later granted consultative status by UNIDO, which has remained a partner of WAITRO to this day. In the late 70s and 80s, WAITRO was hosted by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Research (TNO) in The Hague. In the years following, WAITRO grew further through twinning programs and more cooperative arrangements. In the 90s, the association focused more and more on SMEs and how to strengthen them as the drivers of innovation, employment and economic stability at the time. The network then further developed to a form that is much closer to the Association’s structure today: Three Regional Focal Points as representatives for regions of the world were established before 2000, WAITRO gained more member organizations and its Secretariat moved to SIRIM Berhad in Malaysia. 16 years later, the Secretariat is split between Germany and China and now, in 2020, the global innovation family met virtually in its General Assembly for the very first time.
Read more about the history of WAITRO and the activities and impact of the association.