- Operational Research
- Working Groups
- Prizes and Awards
Back in the sixties, the main activity of IFORS was the organization of triennial international conferences addressing the world community of operational researchers.
At that time, there was in Europe an increasing awareness of numerous ongoing OR activities on one side and, on the other, rather weak means for promoting communication and cooperation among European operational researchers. Some national societies did (and do still) cooperate on an ad hoc basis but not to an extent to satisfy the general need for 'something' between IFORS and the national societies.
In conjunction with the 6th IFORS-Conference (Dublin, 1972), the participating presidents of European OR societies discussed the situation and agreed to seek it improved. Invited by H.-J. Zimmermann, President of the German OR Society, representatives of eleven European OR societies met in Düsseldorf on 3 September 1973 and decided to institutionalize better ways of cooperation within the framework of IFORS.
In a more extensive meeting of representatives of European OR societies, held in Amsterdam on 3-4 May 1974, two major decisions were made:
The Belgian OR Society accepted the invitation to host this meeting and the OR societies of Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, The Netherlands and Sweden agreed to finance the preparation by offering loans as a supplement to funds already raised for that purpose by the Belgian Society. IFORS also offered to provide a loan if necessary. The meeting was scheduled for January 1975 in Brussels, Belgium.
Normally 9 months would have been totally insufficient to prepare for an international conference addressing the entire OR community in Europe. The enthusiasm and involvement of all those who participated in the preparatory work compensated for lack of time. Thus the First European Conference on Operational Research (EURO I), was opened on the morning of 27 January 1975 at the Sheraton Hotel in Brussels. The meeting which managed to assemble no less than 506 participants was a remarkable success. Also the main objective, to institutionalize closer cooperation among the European operational researchers, was fully achieved: nine European OR societies gave birth to EURO, The Association of European Operational Research Societies within IFORS, by signing an agreement in which the signatories resolved:
On 8 March 1976, in a circular letter to all European OR societies, the Honourary Secretary could proudly announced: 'I hereby declare that EURO, The Association of European Operational Research Societies within IFORS, is now formally constituted with effect from 5 March 1976 and the draft statutes circulated on 29 June 1975 are effective'.
Considerable progress has been made since then, as is evidenced by the subsequent pages of this Website. However, there is a continuous need for enthusiastic and dedicated people to enable EURO to maintain its present instruments and to carry out a wider range of activities in support of its objectives.