ICECHIM and the Romanian applied chemical research – a short history
In 1948, the Chemical Enterprises for Research, Design and Semi-Industrial Production (ICEPS) was established on the Dudești platform in Bucharest, at the initiative of professors from the Department of Organic Chemistry (Polytechnic School of Bucharest), department led by Professor Costin D. Nenițescu. 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 well reputed academics, 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 synergize initiatives on all the major areas the Central Institute of Chemical Research was established in 1970, with ICECHIM as the main pillar. This institute grouped all the departmental research institutes, research centers and laboratories associated to the existing 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 1976-1980, ICECHIM’s research activity marked multiple industrial units-refineries and petrochemical plants (Borzești, Midia-Năvodari, Brazi, Teleajen, Timișoara and Pitești), tire factories (Zalău, Caracal and Turnu-Severin), manufacturers of technical rubber articles (Botoșani and Tg. Jiu), plastics manufacturers (Tulcea, Focșani, Năsăud, Drăgășani, Sf. Gheorghe, Miercurea Ciuc and Cehul Silvaniei), yarn and fiber manufacturers (Câmpulung-Muscel, Vaslui, Roman, Corabia and Botoșani).
Images from ICECHIM laboratories
From 1981 to 1989 the activity of ICECHIM was directed towards two main goals: modernization of technologies for installations in operation and qualitative development of products, including those intended for export, and embedding new industrial capacities on the following industrial 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 predicated by the structural economic reforms preliminary to the accession to the European Union and to the new research financing systems, gradually orienting itself towards catering to the necessities 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.
Currently, ICECHIM asserts itself as one of the main players in the Romanian research and development field, as well as a strategic partner of the European Research Consortia for innovation, 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.
The General Managers who steered ICECHIM along its development to present day:
Dr. Eng. Elena Ceaușescu (1964-1979)
Dr. Eng. Maria Ionescu (1980-1989)
Prof. Dr. Doc. Nicolae Bărbulescu (1989)
Eng. Sever Vasile Șerban (1990-2004)
Dr. Eng. Sanda Velea (2004-2016)
Dr. Biochim. Mihaela Doni (2017-prezent)
Eng. Herzelina Pecher (1951-1954)
Eng. Gabriel Mureșan (1955-1962)