It was on 21 December 1946 that the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) founded the Chemistry Laboratory, which was the precursor to the National Institute of Chemistry, with the purpose of supporting Slovenian industry with innovations and developments. This was primarily focused in the years from 1949 to 1954 on technology to produce coke from brown coal.
The fields the Laboratory worked on expanded over time from the production of coke to other areas within pure chemistry, as well as applied chemistry as required by Slovenian industrial companies. The institute wored tightly with and for needs of Slovenian, Yugoslavian, and even American industry ever since it was founded. It is interesting to note that in the period from 1956 to 1971 between 40% and 50% of the institute's financing came from private sector. Later the Institute's increasingly developed in the direction of an academic institution of science and research, as a result of which the share of private financing consstently dropped to the current level, which fluctuates between 15% and 20%.
Between 1956 and 1970 the Institute was also a key figure in the establishment of the principle guidelines and focuses of research in the Slovenian chemicaal industry, as it could directly influence decisions that would provide chemistry with a logical direction to follow in terms of a raw materials available, as well as in terms of market needs and the economic potential of indutry program at the Yugoslavian and international levels.