The history of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) begins in 1912 when the Greek Government decided to establish an institute that would focus on the study of the marine environment.
The Italian Professor D. Vinciguerra, that was invited to offer his services as a consultant, proposed the creation of a Marine Hydrobiological Station, that was finally established in 1914 at Paleo Faliro. In 1915, the Marine Hydrobiological Station begun to conduct fisheries and marine biological studies. In 1948, it changed its name to Fisheries Research Laboratory and placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture.
After the Second World War (1945), the Greek Hydrobiological Institute of the Academy of Athens was founded. This Institute, based in Piraeus, incorporated in 1947 the Hydrobiological Station of Rhodes, which had been founded by the Italians in 1934, as Reale Istituto di Ricerche Biologiche di Rodi.
At the same time, a small boat named “GLAFKI” was converted to a research vessel that, in 1946, conducted its first three oceanographic voyages. The “GLAFKI” was replaced, in 1948, by the research vessel “ALCYON”.