Attributing the key role of materials research in the technology advancement has been recognized as crucial for the economic development of modern societies. Materials research has generated countless advances in areas such as electronics, information technologies, automotive and aerospace transportation, biomedicine, energy storage as well as nanotechnologies. The Center’s research unit New Functional Materials (NFM) will be devoted to the synthesis, characterization, simulation and developing of new functional materials for support and implementation of high-tech industries in Croatia. One of the aims of the NFM is to assemble the efforts, integrate people and promote interdisciplinary research of the RBI laboratories in materials science, the sensor research group of the KONČAR – Institute for Electrotechnik, Institute of Physics and Department of Physics of Medical Faculty, University of Zagreb. It is based on the past successful materials research already presented at RBI and partner institutions. The NFM will bring together established leading researchers and prominent young scientists in developing cutting edge ideas in synthesis, characterization and application of new metal oxides, semiconductors, metallic, ceramic, and electronic materials into manufactured products. The tailored materials are intended to boost both basic and applied research. A combination of the chemical and physical approaches is aimed to accelerate the discoveries of new functional materials through innovations in synthesis, measurements, modeling and applications. The CEF is distinguished by the state-of-the-art materials preparation and characterization facilities, dedicated personnel, and a strong commitment to engaging industrial participants in collaborative research. The CEF will also provide enhanced educational initiatives towards the primary goal of fueling economic growth of the Zagreb’s region and collaborate with other materials NFMs of excellence throughout Croatia as it grows. The NFM will also cooperate with researchers outside the academia and establish ties with leading Croatian industries.