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We will bring together a cross-disciplinary community of researchers, with the common aim of exploiting the power and complexity of non-equilibrium systems to forge a new generation of functional materials and soft machines that can self-assemble and adapt in response to their environment. Together physicists, chemists and material scientists at the forefront of soft matter science will discuss novel routes for capitalizing on the rich properties of soft and biological systems from micro- to macro-scopic length scales. With engineers and technologists from academia and industry, we will exchange our perspectives on employing advanced materials for soft robotics, sensors, smart structures and adaptive surfaces. The aim of our GRC is to convene this diverse group of people to generate ideas to bridge interdisciplinary boundaries and to establish a innovative community at the forefront of materials research.