As the roots of Materials Institute, the Materials Unit was established in the campus of Istanbul Technical University in 1968, and the Chemical Engineering Research Unit in the current TÜBİTAK campus in Gebze in September 1973. Environment Group within the unit was separated in 1991 to form the Environmental Engineering Department. In 1983, Chemistry Department was established in the Fundamental Sciences Research Institute and it was subordinated to TÜBİTAK MAM in 1996.
In February 1996, Materials and Chemistry Technologies Research Institute (MCTRI) was established, joining the Departments of Materials, Food and Chemical Engineering which had been active under the Vice Presidency of Technological Research. In August 1996, Chemistry Department which had been active under the Fundamental Sciences Research Institute joined MCTRI and in January 1997, Food Department separated from MCTRI to form a separate institute.
In October 2004, Chemistry Department separated and MCTRI transformed into Materials Institute; and Chemistry Institute joined Environment Institute to form Chemistry and Environment Institute.