The International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence (IRATDE) was established in the year 2008 by a group of scientists from various disciplines. The place of incorporation was the University of Regensburg in Germany. The founders were specialists in giftedness research, creativity research, expertise research, excellence research, and innovation research. Some were conducting basic research, but most also had a deep interest in applied research. They all felt the necessity for a professional organization in order to combine and focus the research efforts of scientists who were traditionally spread across several disciplines, publishing in their respective journals, and separately attending their respective conferences. Thus, the foundation of a multidisciplinary network seemed to be the next natural step in bringing the research field forward.
The first steps of the IRATDE consisted of electing an Executive Committee, organizing a conference and establishing a scholarly journal. Although the first biennial conference was planned to take place in 2010, the Director of the division of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Prof. Jiannong Shi made the first bid for a conference in 2009 in Xi'an, China.
The next general meeting of the Full Members of the IRATDE took place at the first biennial IRATDE conference, which was held in Xi’an.