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From the 1890s the Plant and Animal Products Department of the Imperial Institute aimed to furnish scientific and technical information necessary for the better production and marketing of plant and animal products which British overseas territories produced or might become able to produce in future.
1929 The Department began research
1949 This organisation was transferred to the Colonial Products Advisory Bureau (Plant and Animal) of the Colonial Office.
1953 the Bureau and the Colonial Products Research Council were brought together under one director. The bureau was renamed the Colonial Products Laboratory and placed under the oversight of the council.
1954 the council was renamed the Colonial Products Council.
1957 the Laboratory was moved from the Imperial Institute and renamed the Tropical Products Institute.
1957 The Tropical Products Institute was established at Gray's Inn Road, London to improve the economic viability of underdeveloped tropical territories by improving the technology of existing industries and introducing new industries as a result of research into new uses for tropical plant and animal products. Additionally, it provided an advisory service, and it aimed to improve methods of production, marketing, and quality of products by undertaking scientific research, and investigating the control of insect pests.
The Tropical Products Institute inherited the work of the Plant and Animal Products Department of the Imperial Institute
1959 control passed to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the Colonial Products Council was replaced by a Tropical Products Institute Steering Committee, set up by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; the word 'steering' was subsequently dropped from its title.
1963 Financial responsibility for the institute was assumed by the Department of Technical Co-operation
1964 Financial responsibility was transferred to the Ministry of Overseas Development but administrative control remained with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
1965 full responsibility was accepted by the Ministry of Overseas Development. At the same time the Tropical Products Institute Committee was replaced by a Tropical Products Institute Advisory Committee.
1967 the institute assumed administrative responsibility for the ministry's Tropical Stored Products Centre at Slough
1969 the institute's Industrial Technology (later Industrial Development) Department was opened at Culham.
1970 Control of the Institute passed to the Overseas Development Administration of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
1974 transferred to the Ministry of Overseas Development.