As established in Article 1 of SIM’s Bylaws, the idea
of an Inter-american metrology project has been advanced by many countries
and organizations from the early nineteen seventies. In 1971, the need of
cooperation in metrology in The Americas was stressed during the Conference
on Applications of Science and Technology in Latin America, held in Brasilia,
Brazil. The fourth meeting of the Inter-american Council for Education,
Science and Culture (Consejo Inter-americano para la Educación, la
Ciencia y la Cultura, CIECC), in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1972, passed
resolution 174, establishing a regional system for metrology and calibration
(Sistema Inter-americano de Metrología y Calidad, SIMYC).
In 1974, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the
National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now National Institute of Standards and
Technology, NIST, USA) organized an international meeting on industrialization
and standardization in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where regional metrology
needs were discussed.
The OAS (former Departamento de Asuntos Científicos
y Tecnológicos, DACYT) convened a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
at the Instituto Nacional de TecnologÌa Industrial (INTI), in 1975,
to design a special project in the area of metrology, focusing on scientific,
industrial and legal metrology.
In 1979, as part of the special project on metrology, the
Inter-american Metrology System (SIM) was created, consisting of thirteen
Latin American countries. Many other institutions outside the Americas have
also contributed to the creation of SIM, such as Istituto di Metrologia
“Gustavo Colonnetti” (IMGC, Italy), Instituto Elettrotecnico
Nazionale Galileo Ferraris (IEN, Italy) and Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
(PTB, Germany). The long-standing support of PTB to many metrology institutions
in Latin America, through its technical cooperation program, was influential in the formation and development
In 1992 PTB organized, together with the Centro Español
de Metrología (CEM, Spain), and the Instituto Português da
Qualidade (IPQ, Portugal) a meeting for constructing a metrology system,
conceived at that time as Sistema Iberoamericano de Metrologia. Also in
1992, the OAS and NIST were invited to help in reconstructing SIM as Sistema
Inter-americano de Metrologia. Thus, in 1993 and 1994, these two organizations,
with support from the US Department of State and the National Metrology
Center of Mexico (CENAM), organized three regional metrology workshops in
Caracas, Venezuela, Buenos Aires, Argentina and San José, Costa Rica,
with participation of representatives from the government, scientific and
industrial sectors in each country.
The OAS and NIST have organized specialized courses and
granted fellowships for a Flow Metrology course in Quito, Ecuador and the
Caribbean Measurement Assurance Program, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. During
the Summit of the Americas, held in December of 1994, in Miami, Florida,
the Presidents of the Americas issued a Declaration of Principles, emphasizing
economic integration and free trade, through reduction of technical barriers
and promotion of technical cooperation programs on metrology and standards.
Following this Summit, the OAS convened a coordinating meeting in Rio de
Janeiro, in January of 1995, attended by 25 countries, which proposed a
project to reorganize and revitalize SIM.
From 1995 to 1998 the SIM presidency was held by CENAM,
Mexico and SIM gained a stronger financial support from the OAS. In 1997,
with the participation of experts from 22 SIM members, an Inter-american
Metrology Workshop was organized in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to implement
an Inter-american Chemical Metrology Program, which is underway.
Since 1995, many actions have been implemented to organize
interlaboratory comparisons of national standards and a great effort was
dedicated to the development of human resources in metrology. Under the
auspice of the Programa RH-Metrologia of Brazil, adopted as a model for
SIM with the support from OAS, three advanced schools in metrology were
organized as a strategy to promote a close interaction between eminent personalities
from the world of metrology and top researchers and metrologists from the
technical and scientific American community.
In September 1998, during the General Assembly held in Costa Rica, Brazil was elected for two-year period presidency.
In September 2000, during the General Assembly held in Jamaica, Ecuador was elected for the next two years period presidency.
In October 2002, during the General Assembly held in Chile,
Ecuador was reelected for the next two years period presidency.