The history of the Centre
The CREA – Cereal and Industrial Crop Research Centre consists of four locations and two laboratories spread across the national territory that originated at the beginning of the 20th century as Institutes of agricultural research and experimentation, created to keep and preserve specific crops. The current administrative headquarters of Foggia was established in 1919 as “Plant protection station of Apulia" with the task of preserving the wheat varieties released by Prof. Nazareno Strampelli. Today it is a national reference point for cereal research. To solve the problems of open field cultivations in hot dry climate, the Cereal Experimental Station of Catania was founded, whose activity is still mainly focused on durum wheat. It was established soon after the unification of Italy as “Agricultural Committee of the District of Acireale" which had its headquarters at the local former Convent of the Capuchin Friars. The Maize Experimental Station in Bergamo, established in 1920 thanks to the contribution of several local authorities and institutions, has historically contributed to the development of Italian maize breeding, with the release of varieties adapted to the national pedoclimatic conditions and, in the immediate post-war period, the introduction and adaptation of maize hybrids. In 1908 the Experimental Station for Rice and Irrigated Crop Research was set up in Vercelli at the initiative of “Association of farmers from Novara and Vercelli" and “Association for irrigation of the territory west of the river Sesia". From the city of Vercelli, in 1932 the activity moved to Cascina Boraso. The Research Centre for Industrial Crops based in Bologna originated in 1910 with the foundation of the Royal Experimental Station for Beet Cultivation in Rovigo that joined the Plant Breeding Institute for Cereal Crops in Bologna in 1968, giving rise to the Experimental Institute for Industrial Crops with branches in Osimo and Battipaglia. Historically, the mission of the Centre was “to undertake studies and research for the improvement of species and varieties of industrial crops and of their breeding techniques”. Part of the staff from what in 1895 was established as The Royal Experimental Institute for the cultivation of Tobacco in Scafati moved to the premises of CREA in Caserta, which today focuses its research activity on industrial crops.