In 1990 a group of nine CSIC and UPV researchers (Juan Carlos Asensi Sempere (R.I.P), Avelino Corma, Vicente Fornés Seguí, Hermenegildo García Gómez, Sara Iborra Chornet, Amparo Mifsud Corts (Retired), Miguel Ángel Miranda Alonso, Joaquín Pérez Pariente, Jaime Primo Millo), led by Prof. Avelino Corma and Prof. Jaime Primo respectively, started the institute with a minimum economic support. Basically, the space was made available by transformation of a parking slot at the UPV campus. In 1994 the team moved to a brand new building where the ITQ is currently located.
Today, after more than twenty years, the ITQ has over two hundred people working there. Its yearly budget amounts nearly six million Euros, placing the ITQ as a reference, World class centre in catalysis, new materials, and photochemistry. The institute is also recognized by its capability to transfer basic knowledge to technological applications. Besides, as an indicator of its international excellence, it should be emphasized that the ITQ is engaged in international research projects in collaboration with the leading multinational companies.
Along these two decades, the Institute of Chemical Technology has focused on competitive fundamental research, has been able to transfer knowledge to industry, and has formed new research generations. Besides, ITQ has made a number of achievements, with international impact, in connection to crude oil refining, processes for pollutants removal from natural gas, processes to obtain chemical products with high added value, as well as design of new automated “high throughput” reactors and new reaction systems, solar cells and sensors. Important advances have also been achieved in biomedicine and health, to minimize photosensitization caused by drugs and to repair photochemical damage to DNA and also in the development of new products and processes that are expected to contribute to future cancer treatment strategies.
During the last ten years, the ITQ has filed more than 150 patent applications, from which 80 have been developed through R+D agreements with industry. In the other cases, UPV and CSIC have been the applicants; 25 patents of this type have been licensed to different companies. It is remarkable that 5 of the major processes and/or technologies developed at ITQ are commercially exploited, while another two are in demonstration plant. Besides, some technology related to fine chemistry developed at ITQ has been commercially applied.