ICECHIM and the Romanian applied chemical research – a short history
In 1948, at the initiative of the professors from the Department of Organic Chemistry (Polytechnic School of Bucharest), department led by Professor Costin D. Nenițescu, the Chemical Enterprises for Research, Design and Semi-Industrial Production (ICEPS) were established on the Dudești platform in Bucharest. By the Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 604/1950, ICEPS was divided into two institutes belonging to the Ministry of Metallurgy and Chemical Industry: the Institute of Design for Chemical Factories – IPROCHIM and the Institute of Chemical Research – ICECHIM. Some of the ICECHIM employees were recognized personalities, and others later became reference names in the field: Costin Nenițescu, Ecaterina Ciorănescu, Margareta Avram, Ion Gavăt, Hipolit Sanielevici, Raul Mihail, Emilian Bratu, Ileana Necșoiu, Dan Costescu, Emil Ionescu and many others.
Acad. Costin D. Nenițescu
In order to coordinate the entire Romanian chemical scientific research and to concentrate the forces on all the major problems, in 1970 the Central Institute of Chemical Research was established, whose main pillar was ICECHIM. This institute grouped all the departmental research institutes, research centers and laboratories attached to the industrial and chemical plants, as well as all the research activity in the higher education institutions.
In 1973, the technological design institutes came under the direct subordination of the Central Institute, which thus became the Central Institute of Chemistry. During the years 1976-1980, ICECHIM’s research left its mark on the multiple industrial units: refineries and petrochemical plants (Borzești, Midia-Năvodari, Brazi, Teleajen, Timișoara and Pitești); tire factories (Zalău, Caracal and Turnu-Severin); enterprises of technical rubber articles (Botoșani and Tg. Jiu); plastics companies (Tulcea, Focșani, Năsăud, Drăgășani, Sf. Gheorghe, Miercurea Ciuc and Cehul Silvaniei); yarn and fiber enterprises (Câmpulung-Muscel, Vaslui, Roman, Corabia and Botoșani).
In the period 1981-1989 the activity of ICECHIM had two basic components: modernization of technologies at the installations in operation and qualitative development of products, including those intended for export; putting into operation new industrial capacities on the platforms: Timişoara Detergent Company, Colorom Codlea Enterprise, Pesticides Section of Oltchim Plant, Brazi Polyisoprene Rubber Industrial Plant, Giurgiu Chemical Plant, Oradea Synthesis Chemical Plant, Valea Călugărească Chemical Fertilizer Plant, Făgăraș Chemical Plant, Victoria Chemical Plant, Stela București and DERO Ploiești Detergent Enterprises.
After 1990, ICECHIM adapted to the new economic conditions due to the structural economic reforms preliminary to the accession to the European Union and to the new research financing systems, gradually orienting itself towards the requirements of small and medium enterprises.
In 2004, the Institute of Chemical Research became the National Research & Development Institute for Chemistry and Petrochemistry – ICECHIM, providing applied research and theoretical studies in the field of chemistry and petrochemistry.
In our days, ICECHIM asserted itself as one of the main actors in the national research area, as well as an important component of the European Research Area, with applied research projects in multiple areas (Bioeconomy; IT&C, space and security; Energy, environment and climate changes; Eco-nano-technologies and advanced materials; Health; Heritage and cultural identity; New and emerging technologies), with a multitude of published research works, granted and requested invention patents, as well as technologies transferred into industry.
Finally, we remember the General Managers who led ICECHIM, from establishment until now: Eng. Alexandru Lupu, Prof. Univ. Eng. Mihail Renert, Eng. Herzelina Pecher, Eng. Gabriel Mureșan, Prof. Dr. Eng. Grigore Popa, Eng. Ion Fara, Dr. Eng. Elena Ceaușescu, Dr. Eng. Maria Ionescu, Prof. Dr. Doc. Nicolae Bărbulescu, Eng. Sever Vasile Șerban, Dr. Eng. Sanda Velea și Dr. Biochim. Mihaela Doni.