The National Research Council of Italy (CNR) is a public organization; its duty is to carry out, promote, spread, transfer and improve research activities in the main sectors of knowledge growth and of its applications for the scientific, technological, economic and social development of the Country.
The Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics (ISTEC-CNR) is the only CNR structure in Italy with long term activity programs on the whole range of ceramic materials. ISTEC-CNR has its main quarter in Faenza.
Following CNR's mission, the following activities are carried out: reserch, technology innovation and exploitation of results and education.
ISTEC was founded in 1965 as a Research Group, in Faenza, which, on account of its cultural tradition, has been called the Town of Ceramics for a very long time. Faenza lies 50 km to the East of Bologna and is known mainly for its ceramics having always played a very important role in this field. In fact its name, which in French is Faïence, over the centuries has defined a particularly prestigious type of ceramic ware.
In 1970 the Research Group became a Research Center, in 1975 a Laboratory, in 1980 an Institute, and, since then according to the main research topics at the time it concentrated its activity on conventional ceramics. Stimulated by the growing interest at international level and new demands of the market on advanced ceramics, ISTEC-CNR devoted the main part of its activity on these materials. At present about 70% of the resources are located on advanced ceramics and the rest on traditional ceramics and cultural heritage.