In the early 1970s, several Groups and Associations already operating in the Italian ceramic sector put forward the idea of founding a cultural association for the purpose of promoting and coordinating the various initiatives supporting the Italian ceramic industry.
On 15 January 1972, in Bologna, the Articles of Incorporation of the new Society were drawn up and a temporary Board of Directors elected. At the subsequent meeting on 29 January 1972, in the Residenza Municipale in Faenza, the Board ratified the Articles in the presence of a Notary and passed the Memorandum of Incorporation of the “SOCIETA’ ITALIANA PER LA CERAMICA”.
On 20 May of the same year, the Extraordinary Meeting of the Members of the Society met in Modena. The internal regulations were discussed and approved and the first statutory Board of Directors was elected.
The original name of “Società Italiana per la Ceramica” was retained until 9 June 1973 when the Ordinary and Extraordinary Meeting of Members of the Society was convened in Modena for the purpose of reviewing the Articles in accordance with the proposal made at the previous Meetings to merge with the parallel Milan-based association ASSICERAM - ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA DELLA CERAMICA.
At the end of the meeting ratifying the merger between the two Associations, a new Board of Directors was appointed for the three-year period 1973 - 1976.
In the mid 1980s, the Ceramic Societies of a number of European countries founded the EcerS - European Ceramic Society and in Italy similar efforts were made to draw together the various areas of the diverse and complex sector of ceramic materials.
An ad hoc work group prepared the new “Articles of Association of Società Italiana per la Ceramica - Assiceram”, which were adopted by the Members’ Meeting on 10 June 1989 and the new association created by the merger assumed the name of SOCIETA’ CERAMICA ITALIANA.
The structure of the new Society was officially ratified at a National Conference held in Bologna on 19 December 1989 with the backing of the Ministry for Universities and Scientific Research, the European Ceramic Society, the National Research Council (CNR) and other important bodies and associations.
Realising that the Articles were no longer in step with the times and that the Society required an organisation that was more suited to current operating conditions, in early 1999 the Board of Directors set up a Commission to verify the real needs of the Society and to establish the modifications and changes that needed to be made. The Commission proposed substantial changes to the Articles and produced an Implementing Regulation, both of which were approved by the Members’ Meeting held in Modena on 16 October 1999. The majority of members of the ITALIAN CERAMIC SOCIETY are industry professionals and academics working in the field of scientific and technological research .
The activities conducted by the Italian Ceramic Society have always involved the voluntary work of Members, who are committed to addressing and debating the managerial, technical and scientific issues within the sector with the fundamental aim of promoting the diffusion of ceramic technology.
The Work Groups played a pioneering role in addressing themes that were later to prove to be of fundamental importance.
Two of these are:
" Pollution and environmental protection";
" Trend in costs and profits in the tile sector
(universally acclaimed and now in its 8th edition).
The following Honorary Members have been elected by the Members’ Meeting:
FIRSTNAME SURNAME COUNTRY SECTOR YEAR OF NOMINATION
NORMAN ASTBURY Great Britain Research 1972
HUGO DIETZEL Germany Research 1972
MAURIZIO KORACH Hungary Research 1972
YVES LETORT France Research 1972
G. BATTISTA ZANCHI Italy Production 1974
GIUSEPPE LIVERANI Italy History 1974
CARLO ZAULI Italy Art 1991
ROMANO PRODI Italy Research 1991
ALDO TOGNANA Italy Production 1992
ANTONINO DAL BORGO Italy Research 1992
MARIO BERTOLANI Italy Research 1992
IBRAHIM BODUR Turkey Production 1995
FILIPPO MARAZZI Italy Production 1995
GIACOMO PECO Italy Production 1995
CLAUDIO LUCCHESE Italy Production 1997
CLAUDIO SASSI Italy Production 1997
ROMANO CIPOLLINI Italy Production 1997
GIUSEPPE GRUNGO Italy Production 2012
Five regional offices were established between the late 1960s and 1999: Sassuolo, Romagna (office in Faenza), North-Western Italy (office in Novara), Central Italy (office in Civita Castellana) and Southern Italy (office in Naples-Capodimonte). The Association’s activities were initially divided into several theme sections: Production and Marketing, Plant and Machinery, Research and Education.
Ever since its inception, the Association has sought to involve all the public and private ceramic sector organisations and associations in its activities. For instance, the Italian Ceramic Society played an important role in the creation of TECNARGILLA and A.C.I.M.A.C.
For TECNARGILLA, the Association made a crucial contribution to the choice of programmes and themes for the technical events complementing the purely commercial activities. In particular it organised the “GIORNATE DEL TECNICO” (“TECHNICIAN’S DAYS”) for presenting and debating highly topical issues.
In 1989, Italian Ceramic Society set up the “International ALDO VILLA Award” in memory of its first Chairman, a figure renowned throughout the ceramic world. This Award is given to an Italian or foreign personality who, in the opinion of a Committee appointed by the Board of Directors, has contributed to the development of ceramic in the field of either research or production. In 2001 the Society launched the “LEOPOLDO CINI Award” in memory of Prof. Cini, Chairman of I.Cer.S for 22 years.
The Society also promotes other awards named after ceramists and ceramic entrepreneurs such as the “Premio Giovanni Lucchese” in cooperation with Florim, the “Premio Marazzi” in cooperation with Ceramiche Marazzi, the Giacobazzi and Maurizio Korach Awards, and the “Premio ANDIL-ICerS” in cooperation with ANDIL-Assolaterizi.
The contribution that the ITALIAN CERAMIC SOCIETY has made to the development of Italian ceramic through its many activities has given the Association a credibility that makes it a cultural reference point for the Italian ceramic sector and for corresponding foreign associations. In 1995 the Society hosted the 4th EcerS Conference in Riccione on behalf of the European Ceramic Society. The event was an unprecedented success with more than 800 participants who presented scientific contributions published in the 14 volumes of the Conference Proceedings.