In the 90´, researchers from the UAH Departments of Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Microbiological and Chemical Engineering of the Alcala University, in collaboration with the Technology Transfer Office (OTRI) created the PPQF (Fine Chemicals Pilot Plant). The plant was housed in a building designed by the UAH´s Technical Office as a modular structure following four main principles: compaction; to enable the reduction of costs, a flexible structure; for the easy adaptability to potential changes and the implementation of new technologies, intramural cleanliness; to prevent cross- contamination, as well as external cleanliness, for environmental reasons, and finally, integration; in order to foster synergies among different sectors. In December 1994 the project was finished. Its initial construction and equipment was financed by FEDER funds.
The Centre started its activity in January 1998 under the name of Fine Chemicals Pilot Plant (PPQF) and depended on the UAH´s Vice Rectorate for Research, being Vice Chancellor at that time Proffesor Julio Álvarez-Builla, who promoted the initial scientific infrastructure of the Centre, designed the staff and appointed Dr. José Luis Novella as Technical Director, and launched projects and services in three main areas: Organic Synthesis, Analytical Technologies and Biotechnology, following the main foundational purposes of the Centre.
From 2000 to 2009, Professor Julio Álvarez-Builla held the PPQF` scientific directorate as a University Centre for Research Support Service (CAIs). In 2009, Professor María Luisa Marina Alegre, Vice Chancellor for Research, appointed Professor Juan J. Vaquero for the scientific directorate, and in December 2012 the Centre was renamed Centro de Química Aplicada y Biotecnología (CQAB), Centre for Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology, in order to include the wide range of activities developed in the Centre.