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TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research

TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) was founded in 1932 by an act of the Dutch parliament to make scientific research accessible and applicable for businesses and government. TNO is a not for profit organisation which by law is required to operate in an independent and objective way. TNO’s trademark is the application of rigorous scientific principles to a wide variety of disciplines. At the start of 2010 TNO employed 4.000 highly qualified professionals. TNO is active in seven main themes, each of which covering a number of sub-themes: Industrial innovation (including High Tech Systems and Materials; Chemicals industry; Maritime); Healthy Living and Energy; Mobility; Built Environment; Information Society; Defence, Safety and Security.

TNO is one of the most internationally oriented research and technology organisations in Europe. In 2009 TNO’s internationally generated revenue was 130 million Euros, which represents approximately 35% of the total revenue.

TNO Strategy and Policy research

With around one hundred economists and social scientists active in strategic studies TNO is working on orchestrating innovations to be effective. The experts in TNO Strategy and Policy studies advise on and support strategic decision making in a range of economic and societal innovation issues and technologies for a wide variety of clients ranging from governments, international institutions to branch organisations and industry. Two TNO expertise groups are involved:

  • Strategies for the Information Society (SiS)
  • Innovation and Environment (I&E)

The Strategies for the information Society (SiS) expertise group contributes to the development and deployment of innovative ICT applications. On a more strategic level, this technology knows how to translate its knowledge into visions, concepts and strategies. Based within the main TNO theme Information Society, SiS has a distinctive position by focusing on and taking a mainly socio-economic perspective, such as service innovation, the creation of strategic visions for the information society, with active contributions to the public debate.

The Innovation and Environment (I&E) expertise group is one of Europe’s leading units on the topic of innovation, sustainability, and (interactive) policy making, with a staff of about 45 multidisciplinary policy advisors. The group also provides support for complex decision making processes ranging from learning trajectories, spatial-economic analyses and cost-benefits analysis (CBA), monitoring and evaluation, foresight and scenario development, actor and system analyses aimed, for instance, at urban renewal, industrial innovation, innovation trajectories, sustainability issues and environmental risks. I&E works with and for its clients at the national and the international level on the development of knowledge, vision and guidance in strategic matters concerning spatial planning, regional innovation and environmental innovation. International clients include the European Commission (e.g. DG Environment, DG Regio, DG Research, DG Enterprise & Industry). The group also has an important function within the larger TNO research organisation of integrating technical research and expertise of other TNO business units, in policy making processes.