Age effects in scientific production are a consolidated stylised fact in the literature. At the level of scientist productivity
declines with age following a predictable pattern. The problem of the impact of age structure on scientific productivity at
the level of institutes is much less explored. The paper examines evidence from the Italian National Research Council. The
path of hiring of junior researchers along the history of the institution is reconstructed. We find that age structure has
a depressing effect on productivity and derive policy implications. The dynamics of growth of research institutes is introduced
as a promising research field.