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​​CRF considers innovation as a strategic lever for the business of the Group.​


​​​Board of Directors:

Richard Palmer​
Managing Director and General Manager
Roberto Fedeli
General ManagementDirectors
Harald Jakob Wester, Giorgio Fossati


​​​​​​​​​The mission of CRF lies in three main goals:

  • ​To develop innovative power units, vehicle systems, materials, methods and processes to improve the competitiveness of FCA products.

  • To represent FCA as part of European and national collaborative research, taking part in pre-competitive research projects and promoting the development of a network of contacts and partnerships on an international scale.

  • To support FCA in enhancing the value of its intangible capital.​​​


​On a national scale, the Centro Ricerche Fiat plays an active role in several public and private research consortiums and collaborates with the Ministry for Universities and Research, the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Economic Development. Particular attention is paid to relations with the surrounding territory: CRF is involved in projects and initiatives undertaken not only by Regions and Industrial Unions but also by Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, Consortiums and by the local industrial fabric.​



  • 1978

    The Centro Ricerche FIAT public limited company was set up, with Ugo Lucio Businario as first CEO. Completed the prototype of the XI/23. Construction of the Total Energy Module (TOTEM), the first biogas-fuelled co-generation unit for the independent production of energy​

  • 1980

    Inertia power generator, studying an innovative system to start engine on cars, which allows the engine to be turned off and automatically restarted during short stops in traffic. Laser welding: synchroniser ring welded to the ring gear​

  • 1981

    Construction of the prototype of a system to notify the driver to start the vehicle via voice announcements​

  • 1982

    Design planning of a family of innovative medium displacement engines in petrol and diesel version, construction of the cafeteria with an over 210m2 roof of solar termic collector​

  • 1983

    Fluid Physics Module, a device ordered by the European Space Body to conduct behavioural experiments on fluids in a gravity-free environment for NASA and ESA shuttle missions

  • 1984

    Fine-tuning of the high-resistance steel sheet pressing process

  • 1985

    ABF braking control system and production of the 1930 cm3 superpowered pre-chamber Diesel Engine, powered at 115 HP​

  • 1986

    The Galileo Ferraris room for testing electromagnetic compatibility is completed: it is among the first in Europe. Simultaneously launch on the road of the XI/75 prototype fitted with superpowered direct injection diesel engine and continuous belt transmission: consumption levels of 40 km/litre

  • 1987

    Fine-tuning on the road of the PAS antiskid system for braking control in poor grip conditions; computer vision applied to production systems, automatic assembly by robot on the assembly line at the Cassino plant; development of an on-board information system with CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) and touch screen for the Thema car​

  • 1988

    ​The Croma turbo Diesel is the first car in the world to have a direct injection engine fitted as standard. The development of a uniJet syste​m with common rail begins. “Solar Control” windscreen: heat-reflecting windows to reduce the temperature in the passenger compartment. Anthropomorphic robot for continuous laser welding on three-dimensional components made of super-alloy, also applied to Shuttle in partnership with Rockwell International

  • 1989


    Development and installation on a bus of a solar ventilation system: lowering the internal temperature with the vehicle parked in the sun . Construction of electronically-controlled systems with four steering wheels (4VVS). CRT colour interface for driving support functions and the remote management of on-board devices fitted on the Lancia Thema

  • 1990

    Construction of the “Eligio Perucca” semi-anechoic chamber for noise and vibration detection

  • 1991

    Radar and laser anti-collision system, application of a 4 steering wheel system on the Lancia Delta Rally

  • 1992

    Prototype of Thema with active suspension, application of the concept developed for Formula 1 cars. Inauguration of the “Vasco Ronchi” optical and optro-electronic laboratory. Construction of a vehicle body made entirely of composite, with structural behaviour equivalent to that of one with a steel body

  • 1993

    Construction of the Centro Motori Ecologici environmentally-friendly engine centre completed. Realization of the diffraction lens headlight, and of the ALERT show car, the Alfa 164 equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control, radar anti-collision function, infrastructure-vehicle communication system, microwave parking and overtaking sensor

  • 1995

    Pre-industrialised prototype of the Daily vehicle with SOFIM 2.8 litre methane 4-cylinder ID 2V multipoint system engine

  • 1997

    Fiat Marea bipower, the first dual fuel Fiat vehicle, powered with methane and petrol. Laser process for surface coats: metal powders melted with laser for the formation of high-performance lips

  • 1998

    Ecobasic: concept car with Euro4 emissions and 2.9 litre diesel consumption levels for 100 km​

  • 1999

    Fiat Brav​a with Ecodriver hybrid engine. Development of the diode laser welding system. Production of carbon nanotube-based display​

  • 2000


    Inauguration of the offices in Bari and Trento, and completion of the laboratory for studying Micro- and Nano-technologies. Construction of INFODAILY for Iveco, and Lancia NEA tripmate, concept car with “virtual seatbelt” which avoids accidents automatically. Uniair system, the first to control electronically the movement of valves, allowing optimisation of combustion, consumption levels and emissions​

  • 2001

    European ADIGA project, the internal combustion engine with an electronic system to control the valves, allowing a reduction in consumption levels and CO2 emissions by 15%​​​​​

  • 2002

    Inauguration of the office in Catania. High efficiency HEAC climate control system. New Dual dry clutch transmission with flexible architecture also for manual and automated solutions​

  • 2003


    Hydrogen full power 45kW Seicento with the equivalent performance of a petrol-fuelled vehicle

  • 2004

    LED-chip technology for lighting; Hybrid metal-plastic node: possibility of moulding plastic on sheet metal. Prototype of the Stop&Start system on the Fiat Punto

  • 2005

    Creation of FPT: Fiat Powertrain Technologies. Pre-industrialised version of the MultiAir petrol engine. Design planning of the AGILASER system to move the laser beam remotely in remote-welding processes

  • 2006

    Marketing of Blue&Me, infotainment platform developed in partnership with Microsoft. Birth of Panda Hydrogen H2 and Panda MultiEco

  • 2007

    HYperPanda, city car with an engine that uses a methane-hydrogen mixture. Integrated PREVENT project for the development of technologies and integrated preventive safety systems

  • 2008


    Phylla project, an electric car supplemented with solar power realized on a technological lab promoted by Regione Piemonte

  • 2009

    Fiat enters into a partnership with Chrysler Group

  • 2010

    Establishment of Group Materials Labs. Over 600 collaborative research projects co-funded by European Commission since 1989

  • 2011


    First world-wide application of TWIP steel on the Fiat Panda, and first European test site for real time experimentation of emergency calls from vehicles

  • 2013


    Evolution of MultiAir technology with highly efficient cycles; the MultiJet TwinAir engine awarded “Best green engine of the year”.

  • 2014

    ​The WCM Research and Innovation team is founded and European cooperation starts on Factory 4.0, Horizon 2020 and Factory of the Future starts: projects of excellence in the fields of ergonomics, industrial process digitalisation and joining methods.

  • 2015

    ​The Polo di Eccellenza dell’Elettronica di Orbassano (Orbassano Electronics Excellence Hub) is founded and work is completed on smart materials applied to high-end cars: innovative composite materials, thermoplastics and alloys that promote sustainability (lightening and circular economy).

  • 2016

    ​The Sistemi Cooperativi (Cooperative Systems) program is completed, the “Premio dei Premi” (“Prize of Prizes”) is awarded by the President of the Republic of Italy.

  • 2017

    ​Start of the L3 Pilot European cooperation, the most important on-road trials of self-driving vehicles.

Facts and figures

Human Capital

Acciai With a permanent staff of over 900 people, the CRF gives its employees the opportunity to take part in job rotation schemes within and towards other sectors of the group. This practice facilitates the transfer of innovation processes by the Centro Ricerche directly to the products. The Centre not only provides in-house training schemes focusing on developing and enhancing skills, it also integrates outstanding new graduates within its resources thanks to post-graduate placement schemes, and it actively participates in updating the training material for the Car Engineering course at Turin Polytechnic University.​

Structural Capital

Acciai ​The CRF manages intellectual property rights in an integrated manner with research and development activities, with the aim of protecting its innovative product and process solutions and enhance their value. The Centre currently holds a portfolio of 2,573 patents and patent applications, which protect 592 inventions. CRF assigns intangible resources - including intellectual property rights - a prominent role within the company management process and considers them to be a precious element for key strategic positioning.​

CRF Report


​​​​​​​The annual report summarizes all the activities and results of the Centro Ricerche, it explains the latest research and innovations, and it includes the analysis of the economic and financial situation of the company (Italian Version)

CRF Report
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