The history of International Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes (ICOM) starts in June 18-22, 1984, in Stresa Italy by holding the First Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes. This was co-organized by the Membrane Society of Japan (MSJ) and the European Society of Membrane Science and Technology (whose name changed to the European Membrane Society: EMS later). Following the foundation of the North American Membrane Society (NAMS), the presidents of MSJ, EMS and NAMS scheduled the first ICOM conference in June 8-12, 1987 at ANA Intercontinental Tokyo (Akasaka, Tokyo). The number of participants was 722 in total (474 from Japan, and 248 from 31 countries) which was more than expected and was a delightful surprise for the organizing committee. After the foundation of the Aseanian Membrane Society (AMS), ICOM has been held every three years, rotated in order of Asia, North America and Europe. Before the foundation of AMS in 2001, MSJ had a role to organize ICOM in Asia.

ICOM1990 was held in August 20-24, 1990 at Hilton Hotel, Chicago, USA. 854 participants gathered from 30 countries, and 54% was the participants from overseas. ICOM1993 was held in August 30 – September 3, 1993 in Heidelberg, Germany. It was held at a newly constructed campus of Universität Heidelberg. The total number of participants was 732, and the program included invited lecture, 92 oral presentations and more than 400 poster presentations. ICOM1999 was held in June 13-18, 1999 in Toronto, Canada. This conference was the first conference which introduced an on-line procedure of abstract submission and registration due to the impact of the expansion of Internet. ICOM2002 was held in July 7-12, 2002 in Toulouse, France. This was the first conference whose number of participants exceeded 1000 (1030 from 55 countries). ICOM2005 was held in August 21-25, 2005 at Lotte Hotel Jamsil in Seoul, Korea. ICOM2008 was held in July 12-18, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. ICOM2011 was held in July 24-29, 2011 at RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands. ICOM2014 was held in July 20-25, 2014 at Suzhou Taihu International Conference Center in Suzhou, China. ICOM2017 was held in July 30 – August 4, 2017 at Hilton San Francisco Union Square in San Francisco, USA. ICOM2020 was held in December 7-11 on-line. This was scheduled to be held at ExCel Centre in London, UK, but changed to on-line due to the impact of COVID-19.