VIPO a.s. was established as a separate entity in 1974 and as a specialized research institute for the Slovak leather and footwear industry under the name of the Institute for the rationalization of the leather and shoemaking industry (ÚRKOP). In its activities, ÚRKOP focused on tanning and shoemaking technology, the development of machinery and equipment for the tanning and footwear industry, the chemical aspects of tanning and footwear production, the application of computer technology in the production of leather and footwear and the performance of testing and standardization activities in the leather and shoe industry.
In 1986, ÚRKOP started to act as a separate economic entity. There were several organizational and structural changes in the period up to 1989, the most significant of which was the separation of the computing and technical-organizational services. The name of the organization has changed to the Research and Engineering Enterprise of the Leather and Shoemaking Industry (VIPKP).
Following the change of the political and economic system in 1989, the VIPKP focused on four key areas – footwear production, chemical and tanning research and development, development of machines, equipment and control systems; and testing and standardization activities in the field of leather and footwear industry.
In 1992, VIPKP was transformed into a joint stock company called VIPO a.s. After the transformation into a joint stock company, the Department of testing was separated. Research and development activities of VIPO a.s. have gradually reorientated to tire manufacturing and rubber chemistry, keeping the division of footwear and tanning research.
In the context of the European recession of the shoemaking and leather industries in 2003, the Division of footwear production was detached and the focus of the Division of tanning research changed on the research of polymers from renewable sources.
The number of employees in the company fluctuated considerably in each period. At the end of the 1980s, the company employed about 450 employees before separating the computing and technical-economic services segment. After detaching this section, Testing and the Footwear division, the number of workers has stabilized to about 100 employees.