Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

New research institute taking shape

September 19, 2010

A group of industry leaders and activists have launched an effort to create a new research institute for the building cleaning and maintenance industry to focus on the science of cleaning and hygiene, and to work with government in the development of industry cleaning standards.

Nearly 50 individuals representing more than 30 organizations in the building maintenance industry met November 18 at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN® New Orleans 2004 tradeshow to exchange ideas about the creation of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI).

The meeting — hosted by Castle Rock Industries, Inc. (CRI); Cleaning Management Institute® (CMI); and consulting firm Concepts IV — brought together leading manufacturers, building service contractors, consultants, trade associations, trade publications, and facility maintenance managers.

The goal of the meeting, according to the organizers, was to define the vision and mission for CIRI as a not-for-profit research institute. CIRI will support all areas of the building maintenance industry by assembling information, facilitating research, and initiating scientific inquiry into cleaning functions and cleanliness.

Frank Wiley, president of Hamilton, OH-based Magnitude Marketing LLC, and a representative of CRI, said the Institute plans to get as many associations involved as possible to support its effort.

On board for you
A steering committee has been established to create the bylaws and organizational structure for the proposed research institute.

The CIRI Host Committee and 26-member Steering Committee will meet during the first week of March to define those bylaws, and CIRI’s structure and membership requirements.

CIRI officials are planning a major meeting for June 2005, inviting hundreds of industry leaders to officially launch the Institute.

Industry pros step up
"We’ve been aware of a growing push for government intervention in the indoor environment," stated Dennis Meagher, CEO, CRI. "We felt that it was important for the industry to have an organization that would help influence the formulation of public policy affecting our industry before new laws and regulations were passed; to be involved with agencies like the EPA right from the start."

According to Humphrey Tyler, president of NTPmedia and CMI, the proposal of CIRI "obviously struck a nerve within the industry.

"When we first planned this meeting several months ago, we hoped to get 10 to 15 thought leaders to attend. The fact that nearly 50 people came shows that there is a need for reliable data and public advocacy that we believe CIRI can fulfill."

Wiley said the Institute is ready to face the challenge of establishing research untainted by those who help fund it, and to feed all groups within the industry. He said, "This organization has to be above criticism."

Stephen Ashkin, president, The Ashkin Group LLC, Bloomington, IN, said the research done by this new initiative is essential for demonstrating what all cleaning pros believe is true, and in helping fuel the future growth of the industry.