Materials are at the basis of all imaginable technological products in our society. We need to rethink our strategies for material selection and design. The design of a material has an impact on its full lifetime: from resources and production technique, transformation of material into device, functioning in the device, over recycling or second use and end of life. There is a strong economic drive for a fast ‘road to market’ for renewable materials. The challenges imposed to materials by the societal changes are huge. Think of some examples: e-mobility requiring light vehicles and more efficient batteries, global warming requiring alternatives for classical cement and alternative base materials, e.g. bio-based.
The research consortium Sustainable Materials Technology (SuMaT) wants to contribute to the ambition of the European Green Deal. It aims to transform the EU into a resource-efficient and competitive economy where economic growth is decoupled from resource use. Designing sustainable materials to replace traditional primary materials is a necessity to realize this ambition.