A novel procedure for integrating neural networks (NNs) with conventional techniques is proposed to design industrial modeling and control systems for nonlinear unknown systems. In the proposed approach, a new recurrent NN with a special architecture is constructed to obtain discrete-time state-space representations of nonlinear dynamical systems. It is referred as the discrete state-space neural network (DSSNN). In the DSSNN, the outputs of the hidden layer neurons of the DSSNN represent the system's (pseudo) state. The inputs are fed to output neurons and the delayed outputs of the hidden layer neurons are fed to their inputs via adjustable weights. The discrete state space model of the actual system is directly obtained by training the DSSNN with the input-output data. A training procedure based on the back-propagation through time (BPTT) algorithm is developed. The Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) method with a trust region approach is used to update the DSSNN weights. Linear state space models enable to use well developed conventional analysis and design techniques. Thus, building a linear model of a system has primary importance in industrial applications. Thus, a suitable linearization procedure is proposed to derive the linear state space model from the nonlinear DSSNN representation. The controllability, observability and stability properties are examined. The state feedback controllers are designed with both the linear quadratic regulator (LQR) and the pole placement techniques. The regulator and servo control problems are both addressed. A full order observer is also designed to estimate the state variables. The performance of the proposed procedure is demonstrated by applying for both single-input single-output (SISO) and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) nonlinear control problems. (C) 2013 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.