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On August 21, 1999 a group of about 20 statisticians and statistical practitioners met in Linköping, Sweden at the end of the First International Symposium on Industrial Statistics to discuss the desirability and possibility for creating a European Society for Industrial and Applied Statistics (ESIAS). Such a society could function as a professional network for users of statistics in Europe. By the end of the meeting it was decided to cautiously move ahead to further explore the possibility and viability of this idea. As a first step, it was seen as important to develop a list of potentially interested people and seek their input and start communication. It was also discussed that it should be possible to take advantage of the Internet to make this a low budget, low effort operation that could take off without further delay.

The need for a society such as the one discussed is grounded in the following:

  • Many applied statisticians and statistical practitioners work in professional environments where they are rather isolated from interactions and stimulation from like-minded professionals.
  • Statistics is vital for the economic and technical development and improved competitiveness of European industry.

By February 2000 an executive committee was formed which held a founding meeting at EURANDOM in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on February 26th and 27th. The name ENBIS (European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics) was adopted as the definitive name for the society. It was decided to have a founding conference on December 11, 2000 in Amsterdam. During that meeting, ENBIS was formally launched. The founding conference was accompanied by a 3-day course on design of experiments given by Søren Bisgaard at EURANDOM in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Since the founding conference ENBIS has steadily grown and the conference has become a lively meeting of statisticians and statistical practitioners from all over Europe.

Besides the conference ENBIS has grown large enough to have now seven local networks. These networks organised already events of their own.

In 2003 the George Box Medal was established as an award for outstanding contributions to industrial statistics. The first recipient in 2003 was George Box who could unfortunately not join the conference in Barcelona.

In 2004 the George Box Medal was joined by the Young Statisticians and the Best Manager Awards. The Young Statistician Award shall be awarded to young statisticians or statistical practioners who introduce innovative methods to industrial and business statistics or successfully use them in daily life. The Best Manager Award is aimed at managers who gave a substantial contribution to the success of their company by spreading the use of statistics in them.

On September 17th., 2006, Ron Kenett organised a strategic discussion on the future of ENBIS just before the conference in Wroclaw. The meeting lasted one day with the participation in random order of Fabrizio Ruggeri, Shirley Coleman, Chris McCollin, Stefano Barone, Winfried Theis, Anne de Frenne, Peter Goos, Soren Bisgaard, Martina Vandebroek, Jeroen de Mast, Ronald Does and Ron Kenett.