The Institute of Natural Products and Agrobiology (IPNA) is part of a network of research centres belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
IPNA's activity ranges from basic research to technological development. Its objectives are varied, bearing in mind that it is a multidisciplinary centre with three main scientific-technical areas:
- Chemical Sciences and Technologies: Chemical synthesis, biological chemistry and medical chemistry, organometallic chemistry, catalysis and chemistry of materials and nanotechnology.
- Agricultural Sciences: Water in agriculture, soil quality, plant nutrition and physiology, phytopathology and fruit growing.
- Natural Resources: Biology of terrestrial organisms and systems, as well as earth sciences.
IPNA was founded in 1990, when it was agreed to merge two research centres: the Institute of Organic Natural Products (IPNO) and the Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology (IRNA), the first in the field of Chemistry and Chemical Technology and the second in the area of Agricultural Science.
Since then, its scientific activity has increased steadily, both qualitatively and quantitatively, as well as in the area of Chemistry, which was the centre's first assignment, in the specialities of Agricultural Science, Volcanology and more recently in Ecology and Evolution on Oceanic Islands. This thematic richness is one of the main assets of the Institute, due to its potential for synergies derived from interaction between these research lines.
The IPNA has its headquarters in the Anchieta Campus of the University of La Laguna (Tenerife), with which it has established agreements for the exchange of technological support services, training of researchers, and university teaching. In addition, IPNA is present on the island of La Palma through the "Juan-José Bravo Rodríguez" Agrobiology Laboratory, whose aim is to support the primary sector, as well as studying aspects related to the Conservation of Biodiversity on that island.
Through the CSIC Delegation in the Canary Islands, IPNA represents the CSIC in this Autonomous Community. In this way, the CSIC is represented in the Patronages of the four National Parks of the Canary Islands, the Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan of the Canary Islands (PVOLCA) and in several Commissions on Climate Change set up by the Canary Government.
2006 is fifty years since the creation of this Institute and the beginning of its activities in 1956 when the Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada de Tenerife (CEBAT), created by the Excmo. Cabildo Insular de Tenerife, became a CSIC centre.
Historically, the IPNA acquired its current configuration when the Governing Council of the CSIC accorded in 1990 a merger of two of its centres, the Instituto de Productos Naturales Orgánicos (IPNO) and the Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología (IRNA), the former devoted to the area of Chemistry and Chemical Technologies and the latter to Agrarian Sciences.
The IPNO had in turn been created when the former Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas de Tenerife, established by the Island Council (Cabildo) in 1963 as a CSIC-coordinated centre, was incorporated into the CSIC national network.
The IRNA had been constituted as a result of the merger of the newly created CSIC Department of Volcanology and the former CEBAT.
Along these years the scientific activity has been growing continuously in both qualitative and quantitative ways in the Chemistry Area, which is the first adscription of the centre, in the Agrarian Sciences specialties, in Volcanology and lately in Island Systems Evolution. This thematic richness is one of the main assets of the Institute due to the potential sinergies derived from the interaction of these lines.