The beginning of the Spanish Type Culture Collection (CECT) goes back to 1960, when the Prof. J.R. Villanueva, Full Professor of Microbiology, began to collect and keep microbial strains in his laboratory. These first strains were offered to Spanish microbiologists for their research activities.
For 8 years CECT was located at the Instituto Jaime Ferrán de Microbiología del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the Instituto de Biología Celular del CSIC in Madrid.
The CECT was first moved to the University of Salamanca (1968) and, from there to the University of País Vasco (1974) in Bilbao, with Prof. Federico Uruburu as its new Director, while Prof. María Dolores García was in charge of maintaining strains.
The most important achievements in this epoch were the publication of the first edition of the Catalogue of Strains (1976), which included a total of 436 strains among which were bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts; and the inclusion of the CECT (1977) in the World Federation on Culture Collections (WFCC) with the registration number WDCM412 in the World Directory of Culture Collections (WDCM).
In 1980 the CECT was moved to its definitive location as a result of Prof. F. Uruburu’s move to Valencia University, in order to take up the Chair of Microbiology at the School of Biology.