Smart functional materials are the basis of many applications, including sensors and actuators, artificial muscles, self healing materials, electroactive polymers etc. The range of application sectors is correspondingly large, including: information and communications technology, energy generation and storage transport, Healthcare, defence,consumer goods.
Many of the applications depend upon the use of multiple smart functional materials. Unlike many materials that are used in large volumes (such as, for example, building or packaging materials), the value of most smart functional materials lies in their enabling capabilities. Their economic impact comes from the effects of applying the devices and systems that use them, rather than the economic value of the materials themselves.