Year 2000: Ruby 40 [35 & 5 in Laxenburg]

Plamen Nedkov
Executive Director, IFIP

This year IFIP celebrates its 40th Anniversary. In the shadow of IFIP’s Ruby Anniversary there is another occasion to remember associated with the establishment of IFIP’s Headquarters and Secretariat in Austria.

In 1993 and early 1994 IFIP examined the possibility of relocating its Secretariat as the expenses for supporting offices in Geneva were significant. An invitation from Austria was gratefully accepted and IFIP chose to base itself in Laxenburg, next to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the International Federation for Automatic Control. The planning and relocation logistics were worked out in the second half of 1994 and the physical transfer of the files, equipment and archives commenced in January 1995. The formal inauguration of the IFIP Secretariat took place on 6 July 1995, in the presence of the Austrian Federal Minister for Science, Research and the Arts and other Austrian and IFIP dignitaries.

The formal inauguration of the IFIP offices in Laxenburg is a milestone and care was taken to document the event with photos and text at http://www.ifip.or.at/secr.htm. [Everyone can ‘re-attend’ the ceremony and ‘stroll’ around in Laxenburg. "The Move to Laxenburg: A Personal Recollection of Events" is also accessible from the IFIP Secretariat’s page or directly from http://www.ifip.or.at/36years/a34nedko.html]

6 July 1995 is actually the birth date of the Laxenburg Secretariat and the 5th Anniversary offers an occasion for a few upbeat words on performance and achievement.

The following diagram

attempts to capture the role and place of the IFIP Secretariat. The transformation of the Secretariat from a classical administrative paper-based unit into a "New Economy" hub was an important development. Modernized administrative systems were introduced to support IFIP’s administration and the Secretariat reinvented itself as a Delivery Co. for products and services in demand. It associates with a growing efficiency of IFIP’s operations that makes it possible for our member societies to enjoy more products and services at less membership cost.

IFIP’s Internet space has grown in substance and form at a rate comparable to that of some ‘Dotcom’ companies. There is an ensured ‘visibility dividend’ for our members and partners and a transfer of experience and expertise to everyone practically on a daily basis but also via on site presentations and papers at conferences and seminars as far away as Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Yearly, thousands of US Dollars are raised in support of conference participants from developing countries, IFIP projects and other activities. IFIP's connections with UNESCO have resulted into a formal status and membership of in the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee. Important IFIP initiatives such as the IFIP Voucher Scheme originate at the Secretariat.

There are other activities of which we are proud of, but to keep this note short we wish to close by thanking all our friends, colleagues and supporters in Austria and around the Globe for the five unforgettable years of common endeavors and friendship. Small is beautiful and so is the IFIP Secretariat and it continues to be dedicated to deliver good services with a smile.

Happy Birthday IFIP Secretariat!

6 July 2000
Laxenburg, Austria