Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione (UNIM), created on 26 January 1921 by the National Association of Manufacturers in Mechanics and Related Fields (ANIMA), is the forerunner of UNI.
In 1928, UNIM extended its activities to other branches of industry and took the name of UNI. It acquired legal status by Presidential Decree in 1955 and operates as a non-profit association. Its members are industrial and commercial concerns, schools and universities, industrial associations and individuals.
UNI is entrusted with the development, publication and promotion of technical standards for all areas of industry, commerce and for the services field. The preparation of electrical and electrotechnical standards is excluded from its responsibilities.