The Construction Industry Institute (CII), which is an organized research center at the University of Texas at Austin, formed the Breakthrough Strategy Committee in the late 1990s with the mandate to identify research projects that may have a breakthrough potential for the construction industry. In 1999, the Breakthrough Strategy Committee identified that efforts to realize the breakthrough promise of Fully Integrated and Automated Project Processes (FIAPP) in the construction industry had produced only modest progress due to the character of the industry: highly fragmented, project-oriented, multiple stakeholders, and low R&D investment. They also noted at the time that the approach of FIAPP was sporadic, independent and lacking critical mass. Worse yet, progress was stymied by a lack of common standards and protocols and by the inability to integrate software and systems improvements effectively.
With its unique position as a mature collaborative research organization of nearly 100 members representing owners, contractors, and suppliers, CII believed that it was up to the huge challenge of bringing the industry together and building the needed consensus for FIAPP to succeed. With that belief and commitment, along with the initial funding support from CII and its partner in the initiative, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Fiatech was founded in 2000.
In late 1999, coincident to the formation of Fiatech, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Air Products & Chemicals, BASF and Merck & Co. convened as a group, calling itself the Owner Operator Forum (OOF). They established a strategy to define and communicate software requirements related to plant life cycle activities in a manner that would encourage technology (software) vendors to adopt the recommendations as part of their ongoing technology development initiatives and investments. This effort was called the Life Cycle Data Management (LCDM) project.
DuPont and Dow representatives were part of the leadership of both the OOF and Fiatech, which had very similar goals. Thus, together, the groups met and decided to merge, resulting in a single entity known today as Fiatech.