There is no doubt that the technological progress contributes significantly to the increase in the productivity and wealth of the regions. Usually the innovative companies are the most productive, competitive and with more accelerated growths. History has shown that some new emerging technologies stimulated innovation and technological progress in a significant way leading to higher levels of productivity and making it easier to develop totally different products and services. These technologies were called Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). KET offer opportunities to new products and processes to a large number of industrial sectors. Additionally KET has contributed to the acceleration of the technological developments increasing productivity and wealth.

EU needs a big share of innovation in order to approach the great challenges that the society is facing, in the upcoming years, namely in what regards climate change, overcoming poverty, social cohesion development and a bigger efficiency in energy and resources. KET require an intensive use of knowledge and are associated high intensity R&D, fast cycles of innovation, capital reversals and highly qualified businesses. These technologies favour innovation in processes, assets and services and have the potential to change the entire economic system. Besides, KET are multidisciplinary and have an impact in several technological scopes, aiming to converge and integrate.

KET are a group of six technologies: micro and nanoeletronics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, industrial, advanced materials, photonics and advanced manufacturing technologies. All of these can be applied to several industries and help to face the challenges of the society, creating advance and sustainable economies. These technologies are the basis for innovation in industrial sectors such as mobility, food, chemistry, electronics, energy, health, construction and telecommunications, with relevance both in emerging as in traditional sectors.

KET are a priority on the European industrial policy with the objective to accelerate exploitation processes of these technologies in the EU towards industrial growth and employment.

From the economic point of view, it is foreseen that the global market for the KET is a trillion Euros, 23% of the products exported in the EU based on these technologies increase the employment with rates around 10, 20% per year. Definitely, the KET development will contribute to the industrial redevelopment, energy and climate change to be compatible, reinforcing its impact on growth and employment creation.

In the project, the KET that will be used on the developments are: nanotechnology, biotechnology and advanced materials. Know more

Nanotechnology is the knowledge, control and handle of the matter on the nanometer scale on the dimensional reach from 2 to 100 nanometers (nm). On this scale, the materials have new and unique properties (chemical, physics, mechanic, optics,...) . It is of great scientific interest and for new applications. Nanotechnology involves several fields such as chemistry, physics, science of materials and engineering being able to have a significant impact in all industries that develop materials. The key lays on the ability to control, synthesize and handle the nanomaterials to obtain specific advantages from its specific properties, in several industrial applications.

Its potential comes from the fact that the physic and chemical properties of the materials drastically change on the nm scale. The following examples show how (extremely) small the scale is:
- One inch is 25.400.000 nanometers
- The thickness of a sheet of paper are 100.000 nanometers

The materials on a nanometer scale have a large specific surface, very superior to that of the same material but on a larger scale. When the specific surface of the material is increase, a larger number of the material (atoms) may be in touch with the remaining materials surrounding it and therefore increase its responsiveness.

Nowadays, there are already applications where nanotechnology is present:
» Nanometer additives for superficial treatments in textiles for multiple uses: anti-stains, hydrophobic, anti-wrinke, anti-bacterial,...
» Sensores and flexible electronics
» Lightweight materials (polymers, cement) with high mechanic resistance for the transports sector
» Nanobiomaterials: enzymes, catalysts of chemical reactions
» Nanomaterials in electric batteries
» Nano-layer with high performance, conductor, multifunctional
» Sun creams and pharmaceutical
» Nanomaterials in electronics and computing to increase velocity, design size and to create systems: transistors, electrodes, RAM memories, high definition screens, flashdrives, RFID cards
» Nanomaterials in medicine for treatments, prevention, diagnosis and regeneration
» Membranes and water treatment technology
» Solar panels (flexible)

Biotechnology covers all the technologic applications that use biological systems and living organisms or its derivatives for the creation or modification of products or processes for specific uses.

Biotechnology includes basic and applied research which covers distinctive focus that come from the technology and the application of biological sciences such as cell biology, molecular , bioinformatics and applied marine microbiology including the investigation and increase of substances bioactives and functional food for the moldecular well being, handling of diseases associated with aquaculture, toxicology and envirogenomics , environmental handling and biosafety associated to the growing and processing of marine organisms and of fresh water, biofuels and management and quality control in labs.

Currently an important number of products are being fabricated using biotechnologic processes: chemical products, polymer, biofuels, vitamins, enzymes... The biotechnologic industry tends to consume fewer resources (recyclable and of natural origins and uses more environmental friendly processes, reaching a sustainable development with a big impact on industrial applications).

This type of industry is promoted according to the governments regulation and for the consumer demand that are increasingly more sensitive to the issues related with the environment.

The concept of advanced materials covers a wide range on the field of the materials and the boundaries between the different types are not clearly defined. It can be included the following groups of materials:
» Advanced metals
» Synthetic advanced polymer
» Ceramic advanced materials
» New composite materials
» Advanced biopolymer

LThe advanced materials present new and different internal structures, with pioneering properties and with high added value. There are numerous examples of advanced materials such as grapheno, FDM Nylon 12CF, which is a thermoplastic filled with carbon fibre resistant enough to replace metallic components in some applications and that it is processed according to fast prototype technologies. It is a composite material with high performance and with low weight that it is used with the Fused Deposition Modelling technology. The High Strength Steels (HSS) are being designed in order to answer the challenges that currently defy the automotive industry namely in what concerns safety, reduction of weight, CO2 emissions and comfort. Even though it is steel, there are complex and sophisticated materials with a chemical composition carefully adjusted and with multi-layered structures in which the heating and refrigeration processes have a key role in the development of its microstructure. The stiffening mechanisms used to achieve properties such as resistance, ductility, tenacity and strain are vast.

On the field of architecture and singular construction, the composite materials of polymeric matrix reinforced with fibreglass, that are used in other industries are beginning to find a market niche due to its advantages related to how quick it is to assemble high resistance to impact and manufactured parts with verifiable industrial processes on the factory (ensuring and maintaining the quality standards), increasing environmental impact, low thermal conductivity and coefficient of thermal expansion.

Aluminium skimmings are also starting to be used on the singular architecture due to its lightness advantages, high specific stiffness and adjustable Young module according to the density, isotropy, absorbing vibration, protection from electromagnetic fields, sound absorption and good thermal properties.


For the development of the Project three materials were selected and on those KET were applied in order to develop new and improved materials with higher performances and features. The ones selected were: Composite materials (polymer or ceramic); cork; Natural Stone: granite, marble and slate.

The composite materials are relevant in Spain and in the south of France, the cork in Portugal and center of Spain and the natural stone in the south and northwest of Spain.

The selection criteria implemented by the project partners were:
» Relevance of the material in the economic activity of the SUDOE region of the partner
» Existing Companies/Associations/clusters in the region related with the material
» Potential applications of KET on the material (new features and added value)
» Technical feasilibility of the development to be undertaken with the material and the Technology Readiness Level


These are formed by the union of two materials to achieve the properties combination that is not possible to achieve in the original materials. These composites can be selected to reach unusal combinations of stiffness, resistance, weight, performance at high temperature, resistance to corrosion and conductivity.


Plant tissue, composed by several layers of dead cells, that covers the external side of the tree trink and the covers of some trees, in particular the cork-oak; it is characterized by the impermeability and elasticity and it is used in numerous industries such as insulation, footwear, pavement, etc.


Materials that are directly extracted from the nature and that, due to its treatment are suitable to be used as construction products.


The Technological Centre of Components Foundation (CTC) is a Spanish Technology Centre which was created in the year 2000 as a non-profit foundation. Its main objective is to bring value to companies through research and development projects, contributing to the enhancement of their competitiveness and sustainability, and becoming their technology partner, by being the meeting point between their needs and research activities. CTC develops its R & D activity in the following fields: Industrial Systems and Nuclear Components, Marine Renewable Energies, Industrial Automation and Robotics and Advanced Materials and Nanomaterials. This last is very focused on nanocomposite development with new or improved functionalities of interest for industry. CTC participates in the project as coordinator and developer of technology in the field of organic base nanocoating for protection of habitat materials against weathering (UV light, rain and wearing).


Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia is a Spanish, private, non-profit R&D technology centre devoted to support the automotive industry in its research, development and innovation needs. CTAG was created in 2002 thanks to a joint initiative of automotive enterprises within the region. CTAG is present in all the stages of product development, from initial advanced research to product life. The key fields of competence where CTAG concentrates its activities are: new materials, novel manufacturing processes, mathematical calculation and simulation, component testing and analysis of performances, environment, electronics, ergonomics, comfort and innovation management. With a team of more than 550 professionals (75% of them being engineers and PhDs), CTAG is an ideal partner for developing new innovative products for the automotive sector. On validations side, CTAG has three buildings equipped with the ultimate testing laboratories: climatic, vibration & acoustics, fatigue, materials, engine, electronics and ergonomics, fitted with cutting-edge technology and equipment such as two triaxial shakers integrated in acoustic and climatic chambers, several climatic chambers including a complete car sunlight radiation and weather resistance chamber, etc.

From 2004, CTAG has a research team focused on exploring novel applications for new materials in the transport sector as well as enhancing the efficiency of plastic transformation processes. This team, the Materials Innovation Area, will be involved in KrEaTive Habitat project and will apply their own patented smart materials technology over 3 different materials (natural stone, cork and ceramic) to obtain new added value products with integrated multi-functional abilities (i.e. capacitive sensing ability and heating up properties).


The materials investigation group, UC3M, is mainly focused on the corrosion and adhesives. On corrosion the work is developed on corrosion and protection mechanisms through organic coatings. On the adhesives field the focus is on surface pre treatments, the adhesive and its durability and also reinforcements on commercial adhesives. Another area of specialization include the abrasion, composite materials, powder metallurgy and acidification.

In what concerns the project, UC3M will develop reinforced thermoplastics resistant to abrasion and fire, with reinforced coatings resistant to metals’ corrosion.

La Rochelle

With a vast experience in civil engineering and processes, La Rochelle also relies on biomaterials work for the development of cellulosic materials or starch. La Rochelle also work on analytic methodologies to verify the suitability between the characteristics of innovative materials and its development as habitat materials.

In the project La Rochelle will be responsible for adapting and validating the developments based on biomaterials mainly reinforced fibres for the industry materials of habitat in order to best improve its performance.

Universidade do Minho

The University of Minho is one of the most prestigious Portuguese higher education institution. The research group 3B (Biomaterials, biodegradable and Biomimetic) has a long experience on the development of polymer material and biodegradable ceramic.

In the project the university will develop cork materials and ceramic particles with marine waste origin.


IrRADIARE was created in 1995 as a spin off of Lisbon’s Technical University. It focus on development, innovation and integration of projects in sectors where the ability to optimize and integrate are key (energy, energy efficiency, climate, environment, industry, among others).

Specialized in technology transfer for the industrial fabric it is the partner responsible for the project communication, dissemination, web development and social media, promotion of technologies, materials and actions to increase the projects’ visibility.



Official College of Architects of Cantabria, superior council member of the College of Architects (Spain)

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Department of Construction Technology representing the construction prescribers (Spain)

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Not for profit association that brings together companies, municipalities, R&D centers, business associations and other entities, related to Habitat, that are committed to sustainability as a motto for Innovation and Competitiveness (Portugal)

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