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Founded in 1929 to improve the health and quality of sugarcane plantations in Reunion Island, eRcane has become a world renowned variety development centre. It gradually diversified its work, developing expertise to meet the needs of the sugar industry and the agricultural sector in Reunion Island. New departments have been added over the years, including the Industrial Automation and Electronics Department, in 1973, and the Sugar Processing and Industrial Innovations Department, in 1985.
Since 2007, eRcane has also been working on research concerning biorefinery and on the dissemination of cultural techniques.