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British Scientific Instrument Research Association

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The British Scientific Instrument Research Association (BSIRA). A cooperative industrial research association

1918 Set up by a Committee of the Privy Council for the promotion of scientific and industrial research and supported by the DSIR. It was the first industrial research association in the UK. The first director of research was Sir Herbert Jackson (1863–1936).

Initially the 9 members of the association were from the optical industry, but these were joined in the same year by the electrical scientific instrument, electro-medical, and X-ray industries.

WWII The London headquarters were destroyed

1947 the association moved to a site in South Hill, Chislehurst, a Grade II Listed former private house called 'Sitka'

By the 1960s the association was known as SIRA

1964 Establishment of Industrial Measurement and Control Group within SIRA

1968 There were about 150 industrial members from the scientific and industrial measurement and control industries[1]. Sira evolved into a group of British engineering companies that designed test equipment and provided calibration services, with a focus on evaluation of process control instrumentation.

1982 Sira opened an office in Cheshire, specifically designed to test and assess equipment used in hazardous locations. This came about after staff left the nearby ICI plant to set up a hazardous area lab.

During the 1980s and 1990s Sira operated from two main offices – Chislehurst, Kent (home to various research and development projects and technologies) and Saighton, Chester.

1992 Sira became the first UKAS-accredited Notified Body in the UK

1999 Sira was invited to be an IECEx Certification body and test lab (1 of only 4 at the time). During this time Sira moved offices to Eccleston, Chester.

2006 The hazardous area, environmental and calibration services of Sira were acquired by Volvere plc, resulting in the closure of Chislehurst and the disbandment of research and development activities.

2009 Sira was acquired by the Canadian group CSA International

The combined operation CSA-Sira offered a the wider range of standards and testing to its clientele.

2015 CSA Group moved to offices in Hawarden, North Wales and merged with another CSA-UK company in Leyland.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Oct 15, 1968
  • Wikipedia
  • [1] CSA Group