The need to have an organization to foster immunoassay testing in food and environmental matrices became apparent at an EPA-sponsored Immunochemistry Summit in Las Vegas during June, 1992. During the meeting, a high level of interest in immunoanalytical applications for the food, agricultural and chemical industries, as well as the regulatory community, was acknowledged. However, it was also recognized that several critical issues needed to be addressed in order for immunoassay to successfully gain widespread acceptance. These included:
1. Better communication among kit developers, users, and regulators
2. Development of standards and regulatory guidelines for acceptance of immunoassay data
3. Educational programs for regulators and new users
4. Polices to safeguard the quality of dozens of commercial immunoassay kits, as well as the applications which were being developed that utilized the kits
Representatives from over 25 industrial, academic and government organizations subsequently met several times to address the issues identified during the EPA Summit. These meetings led to the establishment of the Analytical Environmental Immunochemical Consortium (AEIC) in 1993. Membership in the AEIC was opened to groups and organizations who were developing immunoassay technology for food and environmental testing and who were interested in promoting the proper application of immunoassay as an analytical technique. Over the years, the focus of AEIC has been broadened to encompass the expanding field of biotechnology. Membership became more diverse and now includes research consultants, immunoassay equipment manufacturers, analytical labs involved in both protein-based and DNA-based analytical testing, DNA-based equipment manufacturers, other testing organizations, food/mycotoxin testing companies as well as the companies that provide biotechnology products for agriculture. Due to this shift in focus, the Analytical Environmental Immunochemical Consortium (AEIC) was renamed “Analytical Excellence through Industry Collaboration” in 2005.
AEIC membership (go to “Membership” for application form) is available at the 1) Full member level, 2) Associate member level and 3) Individual member level. Full member level is available for those industry companies with an interest in the development and/or use of bioanalytical methods in the agricultural, biotechnology and environmental industries. Associate level memberships are for staff and/or faculty of academic institutions having an interest in the development and/or use of bioanalytical methods in the areas of agricultural, biotechnology and environmental industries, and 3) Individual level memberships are available for those persons who do not have any company or academic affiliation but would like to participate in AEIC as a voting member. AEIC encourages the participation of government agencies at the semi-annual meetings.