Bio-based production of industrially important chemicals and materials from non-edible and renewable biomass has become increasingly important to resolve the urgent worldwide issues including climate change. Also, bio-based production, instead of chemical synthesis, of food ingredients and natural products has gained ever increasing interest for health benefits. Systems metabolic engineering allows more efficient development of microbial cell factories capable of sustainable, green, and human-friendly production of diverse chemicals and materials. Escherichia coli is unarguably the most widely employed host strain for the bio-based production of chemicals and materials. In the present paper, we review the tools and strategies employed for systems metabolic engineering of E. coli. Next, representative examples and strategies for the production of chemicals including biofuels, bulk and specialty chemicals, and natural products are discussed, followed by discussion on materials including polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), proteins, and nanomaterials. Lastly, future perspectives and challenges remaining for systems metabolic engineering of E. coli are discussed.