Verband der Elektrotechnik, Elektronik und Informationstechnik
The VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies e.V. is one of Europe’s largest technical-scientific associations with 35,000 members, including 1,300 corporate and institutional members and 8,000 students.


The VDE is the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies and their related sciences, technologies and applications. As the voice for these key technologies in Germany, the VDE works to foster a better climate for innovation, ensure the highest safety standards, promote optimal engineering curricula, and encourage a broader public acceptance of new technologies. The Association’s organization and functions are unique worldwide: The VDE combines a broad spectrum of scientific activities with work on industry standards and product testing under one roof. Focal points of VDE’s work include developing safety standards for electrical and electronic products, preparing technical regulations as national and international standards, and testing and certifying electrical products, equipment and systems. The VDE Testing and Certification Institute, headquartered in Offenbach, Germany, is among the world’s most prominent independent testing organizations for electric and electronic products. At the Institute’s global network of testing and certification centers, over 500 highly qualified employees conduct around 100,000 tests annually for national and international manufacturers. Virtually every electrical product used daily by the public in Germany and elsewhere – ranging from electric toothbrushes to stoves, washing machines and IT products – is tested and certified by the Institute. The VDE mark, familiar to 68 percent of the German public, is considered to be the symbol of highest safety standards. Worldwide, around 200,000 products bear the respected VDE mark.

VDE activities include national and international transfers of technical knowledge, promoting research and the training of young talents in the key fields of electrical engineering, electronics and information technology and their respective applications. The VDE offers its members numerous benefits such as access to an unmatched national and international network of experts, knowledge transfers, continuing education programs and exclusive online offers. With 35,000 members, including 1,300 corporate and institutional members and 8,000 students, the VDE is one of the largest technical and scientific associations in Europe. Joachim Schneider, a member of the Managing Board of ABB AG Germany, is currently President of the VDE Supervisory Board.

Communications, energy, mobility and life sciences are the central innovation fields represented and supported by the VDE. Germany and Europe are among the world leaders in these fields, and the goal of the VDE is to communicate, secure and further strengthen this position. Many thousands of experts make their know-how available to the Association.

International network

The VDE operates throughout the world and maintains a global network of international contacts and partnerships. On the technical and scientific level, the VDE cooperates with renowned associations around the globe. The VDE has experts serving in all relevant standardization organizations such as CENELEC, ETSI and IEC. The VDE also works closely with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the biggest worldwide professional association of electrical engineers.

The VDE maintains its presence throughout Germany with 29 regional and district societies, offices in the various states, and with 60 university groups. The Association’s honorary Supervisory Board is composed of prominent technology representatives from science and business, while a managing board is responsible for the Association’s policies. The VDE is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and maintains representative offices in Brussels and Berlin.

The VDE in numbers

  • 800 employees
  • 35,000 members, including 1,300 corporate and institutional members and 8,000 students
  • 5 technical and scientific societies
  • 29 regional and district societies / state offices
  • 1,800 events a year, attended by around 67,000 participants

Technical and scientific societies

The five technical and scientific societies under the roof of the VDE are responsible for knowledge transfers, networking and information exchanges related to technical themes:
  • Information Technology Society (ITG) – The ITG promotes research in and applications for information technology used in data and communications systems, production systems, environmental protection, medical engineering and transportation systems.
  • Power Engineering Society (ETG) – The ETG supports the development of components, devices and systems for generating, transmitting, distributing and using electrical energy.
  • German Association of Biomedical Engineering in the VDE (DGBMT) – The DGBMT promotes the interdisciplinary cooperation of engineers, natural scientists and physicians.
  • VDI/VDE Society of Microelectronics, Micro and Precision Engineering (GMM) – The interdisciplinary VDE/VDI society GMM supports research and development in the areas of microelectronics, microsystems and nanotechnology as well as precision engineering.
  • VDI/VDE Society of Measurement and Automation Engineering (GMA) – The GMA supports work on theory and applications in the areas of measurement, control and automation systems.

VDE activities

  • Knowledge transfers: The VDE creates and maintains effective national and international knowledge transfers among researchers, developers and users through its five technical and scientific societies and its work in the area of industry standards and product testing.
  • Continuing education: The VDE is one of the biggest providers of continuing education events in the fields of electrical engineering and information technology, holding 1,800 events a year attended by around 67,000 participants.
  • Technology and educational policy: The VDE represents the interests of engineers, scientists and students working on future-oriented technologies by promoting their political and public support.
  • Promotion of young talent: The VDE supports young professional talents as well as youth interested in science and technology. The VDE YoungNet supports around 8,000 university students and 3,000 Young Professionals. Each year, the VDE awards prizes and scholarships to gifted students, graduates and young scientists, and also conducts nationwide competitions like INVENT a CHIP.
  • International standards and standards: As a founding member of the IEC, the VDE works to promote internationally harmonized industry standards by way of approving safety of electricians' handtools. The DKE (German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies), a joint organization of the DIN (German Institute for Standardization) and the VDE, is the national standardization organization in this field.
  • Product testing and certification: Over 500 employees of the VDE Testing and Certification Institution in Offenbach, Germany, conduct roughly 100,000 product tests a year for 5,000 customers around the world.
  • Global Services: VDE Global Services GmbH represents the VDE in Asia and provides local testing facilities and product certification for the global market.
  • Publications: The VDE VERLAG, with locations in Berlin and Offenbach, is a specialist publishing house for electrical engineering and information technology. It offers a spectrum of publications covering everything from industry standards to specialist books and technical journals.
  • Innovation + Technology: VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH, Berlin, plans support programs for technology policies on behalf of federal and state ministries in Germany.


  • 1893 The founding conference of the VDE (Association of German Electrical Engineers) takes place on January 21–22 in Berlin. Thirty-seven delegates of the Electrotechnical Society of Germany, which was originally established in 1879, approve the founding minutes and elect the VDE board. In September of that year, the VDE holds its first annual meeting and establishes its first technical committee to prepare regulations for electrical equipment.

  • 1894 The first VDE commissions for construction and operation regulations and for standard copper components begin their work. These two are followed in subsequent years by additional commissions, including those established to prepare regulations for standard components for incandescent lamps, sheet iron, wire and cable, installation materials, ground current, light measurement and meters. The first VDE regulation – VDE 0100 for the safe production of electrotechnical installations – is passed.

  • 1904 The first Book of Standard Components published by the VDE appears. It was prepared by a commission headed by later General Secretary Georg Dettmar. The 187-page book contains 17 VDE regulations.

  • 1906 With the participation of the VDE, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is founded in London with member societies in 24 countries.

  • 1920 Opening of the central VDE testing center in Berlin. The center is responsible for testing electrotechnical products for their compliance with existing VDE regulations. The first registration of the trademarked “VDE mark” follows.

  • 1928 Founding of the ETZ-Verlags (after 1947: VDE-VERLAG GMBH).

  • 1937 Incorporation of the VDE in the NS Association of German Technology (NSBDT). The VDE operates as part of the Office for Technology of the NSDAP until 1945.

  • 1945 Like all other associations attached to the NSBDT, the VDE is initially prohibited following the end of the war. A trustee for the VDE is later appointed by the British occupying power in Berlin. Gradually, work at the VDE headquarters resumes, with the exception of the association’s lectures and presentations.

  • 1948 Rebuilding of the VDE Secretariat-General and the testing center in Wuppertal as well as the regulations center in Mannheim.

  • 1950 Official refounding of the Association on March 23. The VDE is now headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, and the testing center is also relocated in that city.

  • 1954 Founding of the first VDE technical society, the Nachrichtentechnische Gesellschaft (NTG), the forerunner of today’s Information Technology Society (ITG).

  • 1961 Creation of the VDE radio interference protection symbol.

  • 1970 In order to consolidate their work on electrotechnical standards, the DIN and the VDE found the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE). With this move, there is now only one organization responsible for electrotechnical standards in the German Federal Republic. The DKE is a legal entity under the VDE and also represents German interests in the international standardization organizations for electrical engineering.

  • 1973 The VDI/VDE Society of Measurement and Control Technologies (GMR) is formed from the merger of the renowned VDI/VDE measurement und control technology specialist groups. The organization has since been renamed as the Society of Measurement and Automation Engineering (GMA).

  • 1974 Founding of the Power Engineering Society in VDE (ETG).

  • 1976 The VDI/VDE Society for Micro and Precision Engineering (GMF) begins its work (original name: VDI/VDE Society for Precision Engineering (FWT).

  • 1985 The working group Blitzschutz und Blitzableiterbau e.V. (lightning protection and lightning rods) joins the VDE. Their activities are continued in the newly formed VDE Committee for Lightning Protection and Research (ABB at VDE).

  • 1986 As equal partners, VDI and VDE jointly launch VDI/VDE-Technologiezentrum Informationstechnik GmbH in Berlin. Financed by the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology, the center has supported small and medium-sized enterprises since 1978 in implementing their new technological developments.

  • 1987 The VDE/VDI Society of Microelectronics (GME) begins its work.

  • 1989 Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the VDE welcomes electrical engineers in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). The VDE establishes seven new district societies in the new federal states by 1992 and takes in over 4,000 new members.

  • 1991 The name of the VDE testing center is changed to VDE Testing and Certification Institute, to reflect the fact that certification has become an additional field of activity.

  • 1992 Founding of the umbrella organization Medical Technology DVMT. The VDE is a founding member.

  • 1996 Merger of GME (VDE/VDI Society of Microelectronics) and GMF (VDI/VDE Society of Micro and Precision Engineering) to form the VDE/VDI Society of Microelectronics, Micro and Precision Engineering (GMM).

  • 1998 Delegates officially vote to change the name of the VDE to VDE – Association of Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies.

  • 2001 Merger of the VDE and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Biomedizinische Technik (German Association of Biomedical Engineering) (DGBMT). The DGBMT becomes a new technical society in the VDE. The DKE is renamed DKE German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies of DIN and VDE. The VDE opens a representative office in the capital of Berlin.

  • 2003 VDE Global Services GmbH is founded.

  • 2004 The Information Technology Society (ITG) celebrates its 50th anniversary in St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt am Main. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder gives the keynote speech at the opening of the VDE Congress 2004 – “Innovations for People.”

  • 2006 The VDE organizes the IEC World Congress in Berlin with Germany’s Minister for Economics and Technology Michael Glos. EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen opens the VDE Congress –“Innovations for Europe” in Aachen, Germany.

  • 2007 The VDE/BMBF nationwide student initiative INVENT a CHIP sets a new record with 1,500 participants. VDE and the Ministry for Education and Research host the 2nd Microsystems Technology Congress in Dresden, Germany, with Annette Schavan, Germany’ Minister for Education and Research.

Regulations and standards

The German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies of DIN and VDE (DKE) develops standards and safety regulations for the fields of electrical engineering, electronics and information technology. The DKE represents German interests in the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Around 3,500 experts from business, science and the public sector prepare, in an honorary capacity, VDE regulations in the DKE.

VDE regulations

The most important VDE regulations for safety in electrical engineering cover:
  • dangerous currents
  • dangerous voltages
  • the five fundamental safety rules

Germany’s trade associations publish * accident prevention regulations that are in part based on VDE standards.

VDE standards

Group Standard series Subject Explanation
0+1 DIN-VDE 00xx and 01xx General Principles/ power systems Meta-standards, power engineering
2 DIN-VDE 02xx Energy conductors Cables and electrical lines
3 DIN-VDE 03xx Insulation materials Electrostatics, insulators, superconductors
4 DIN-VDE 04xx Measurement, control, regulation Monitoring systems (fire detectors, radiation protection, etc.)
5 DIN-VDE 05xx Machines, converters Batteries and accumulators, electric machines
6 DIN-VDE 06xx Installation materials, switchgear Electro-installations
7 DIN-VDE 07xx Utility devices, tools Safety of household appliances, luminaires and lamps, medical equipment
8 As of DIN-VDE 0800 Information technology


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