Product innovation by means of smart materials

The 21st century will be marked by the development of products with an increasing number of additional functionalities, that may be either passive (e.g. flame retardant) or active (e.g. colour changes by temperature changes), separately or in combination.

By incorporating so-called 'smart materials', the industry will create endless and very lucrative innovative possibilities answering as such to the economic necessity of countless companies to look for specialised niche products with a very important contribution of expertise.

Smart materials may be defined as responsive or stimuli-sensitive materials that react in a certain way to an external stimulus (colour change, form change, light emission, energy generation...).

In order to encourage companies to fully exploit these possibilities, Centexbel launched together with Sirris, the research centre of the Belgian technological industry, a new TIS action with the aim to:

  • inform companies about the application possibilities of both commercially available smart materials and of materials in development
  • encourage companies to product innovation
  • encourage companies to look for possible innovations outside the boundaries of the proper sector by creating networks for transsectoral collaboration: new ideas will often emerge on the crossroads between different disciplines and in the encounter of divergent applications.