Concretes with high strength and/or low weight have been in focus for more than two decades, driven by the need for longer bridges, taller buildings and more slender structures. According to the ongoing ECO-serve thematic EU network, with main objective to identify the needs of the European Construction Industry in its endeavor towards sustainability of the industries' products and production processes involving cement, aggregate and concrete production. There are several reasons for this as discussed under the next heading. Based on this fundament a Norwegian consortium prepared a proposal for a Centre for Research based Innovation (CRI), and was granted with governmental money (through the Research Council of Norway) as well as industrial support for 8 years, as one of presently 14 Centers, in competition with proposals from most other business sectors. In fact, concrete was the only materials proposal granted. The main objective for CRIs is to enhance the capability of the business sector to innovate by focusing on long-term research based on forging close alliances between research-intensive enterprises and prominent research groups. The Centre is called COIN - Concrete Innovation Center (www.coinweb.no). The vision is creation of more attractive concrete buildings and constructions. Attractiveness implies aesthetics, functionality, sustainability, energy efficiency, indoor climate, industrialized construction, improved work environment, and cost efficiency during the whole service life. The primary goal is to fulfill this vision by bringing the development a major leap forward by more fundamental understanding of the mechanisms in order to develop advanced materials, efficient construction techniques and new design concepts combined with more environmentally friendly material production.