The original history of ULRMC dates back to 1993 when there was initial contact between ERIM (currently Altarum) and the Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S. In 1994, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between ERIM's President and Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister to develop a Ukrainian Institute of Ecology.
On behalf of the partners, which would eventually include ERIM and the Environmental and Resources Research Institute of Ukraine (ERRIU), the latter of which would be created under a decree of Ukrainian President Kuchma in 1997, ERIM approached the U.S. Congress for funding support of the initiative. After funding for ULRMC was passed by the U.S. Congress, ERIM began to work closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development to prepare a technical assistance program under which the ULRMC project would be established. ERIM and ERRIU executed foundation agreements in January 1999 and the organization was officially registered in Ukraine in August 1999.
As a sign of the need for the technological applications provided by ULRMC, it is important to note that in November 1998, several months prior to any official formulation of the center, that the Ukrainian government approached ERIM and ERRIU about a major flooding problem in the Zakarpattia Region of western Ukraine. In response, the future staff of ULRMC conducted a Western Ukraine Flood Risk Assessment which the Ukrainian government used to make sound decisions concerning the problem. Early in the development stages of ULRMC in March 1999, the organization undertook a substantial Agricultural Statistical Survey demonstration project as part of the technical assistance grant from USAID.
In November 1999, ULRMC successfully completed the installation of a HRPT Station at its facilities in Kyiv. This satellite reception station, owned and operated by ULRMC, acquires AVHRR data on a daily, real-time basis.