NAMUR was founded at Leverkusen on 3 November, 1949, as the body to represent the interests of the users of measurement and control technology in the chemical industry by such renowned experts in the field as Dr. Sturm (Bayer), Dr. Hengstenberg (BASF) and Dr. Winkler (Hüls).
At the second meeting in December 1949, the founding members of the working group settled the name: Standardisation association for measurement and control in chemical industries - abbreviated to NAMUR.
In accordance with the state of the art, NAMUR's subtitle was changed in 1996 to "Interessengemeinschaft Prozessleittechnik der chemischen und pharmazeutischen Industrie" (Process Control Systems Interest Group of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries); and on 9 November 2005, the subtitle was changed again to "Interessengemeinschaft Automatisierungstechnik der Prozessindustrie" (Automation Systems Interest Group of the Process Industry).
In the post-war years, the main activities in process measurement were the improvement of measurement, control loop analysis, standardisation, especially of interfaces (4-20 mA signal, NAMUR Initiator [proximity switch]), i.e. the emphasis was on the standardisation and exchange of experience relating to measurement and control devices.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, Bernhard Will and Hasso Drathen summarised the developement of NAMUR in its first 50 years.