The Monell Chemical Sciences Center was founded in 1968 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, based on a gift from the Monell Foundation. While very generous, this gift required a substantial additional investment in order to develop the facilities required for serious research into the senses of smell and taste. A strong appeal was directed at industry in general, and particularly the flavor and fragrance industry, to make up the necessary funds to build and furnish the building, and provide the start-up budget for this pioneering research effort.
Industry saw the necessity, and more important, the value, of this investment. It is a great credit to the leaders of the flavor and fragrance industry that they have continued funding this center in a major way. Industry supports the center by providing an important part of its annual budget, and by contributing ideas and suggestions to the research workers.
From the outset, Monell was unique in a number of ways. It was committed to a multidisciplinary approach to research, a concept which has become more widely promoted in the intervening twenty years; and it maintained a key relationship with industry, a policy which was criticized in the early seventies, but is now widely accepted, applauded and imitated.