Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research

New Babylon in The Hague, head office of TNO since 2015
Abbreviation TNO
Motto Innovation for life
Formation 1932
Purpose applied and contract research
Headquarters The Hague, Netherlands
Mission TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the competitive strength of industry and the well-being of society in a sustainable way.[1]

Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek (TNO; English: Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) is a nonprofit company in the Netherlands that focuses on applied science.

TNO is a knowledge organisation for companies, government bodies and public organisations. The approximately 3,800 employees work to develop and apply knowledge which makes it the largest research institute in the Netherlands. The organisation also conducts contract research, offers specialist consulting services, and grants licences for patents and specialist software. TNO tests and certifies products and services, and issues an independent evaluation of quality. Moreover, TNO sets up new companies to market innovations.


TNO was established by law in 1932 to support companies and governments with innovative, practicable knowledge.[2] As a statutory organisation, TNO has an independent position that allows to give objective, scientifically founded judgments. It is similar to the German Fraunhofer Society and, to a lesser degree, CSIRO in Australia. Furthermore, TNO had hold also 10% of the Austrian research centre Joanneum Research from 2004 to 2014.[3]

Scope of work

The work of TNO is focused on 5 areas:

In 1994 the TNO Primate Centre in Rijswijk became an independent organisation called the Biomedical Primate Research Centre.

In July 2014 it was announced that TNO would receive $17 million euros of funding from the National Roadmap for large-scale research facilities, awarded by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

TNO is part of the consortium that has built the world's first bikepath made from solar panels, known as a "SolaRoad".[4][5]


TNO is headquartered in The Hague. Other locations include: Delft, Rijswijk, Leiden, Groningen, Apeldoorn, Helmond, Soesterberg, Utrecht, Den Helder, Zeist, Enschede and Eindhoven. TNO also has two international branch offices in Doha (Qatar) and Aruba. The location Hoofddorp is closed in 2014.


In 2006 TNO-ITSEF, a subsidiary organisation of TNO, was criticized for resisting publication of its test reports regarding widely used voting computers in the Netherlands. In the same year a Swiss research group refuted a widely publicized TNO report claiming UMTS radiation is a health hazard.[6] The organisation also received criticism after the evacuation of 200 residents of an Amsterdam housing estate over fears of its structural integrity when the construction had been technically approved by TNO only five months earlier.[7]

Also in 2006 TNO was criticized for their handling of an investigation into the collapse of a balcony in Maastricht in 2003 that killed two people.[8]

See also


  1. "MISSION AND STRATEGY". Retrieved 12 Jan 2015.
  2. "ORGANISATION". Retrieved 12 Jan 2015.
  4. Spakovskis, Robert (Nov 7, 2014). "SolaRoad: World's first solar cycle path to open in the Netherlands".
  5. Mlot, Stephanie (Nov 10, 2014). "The Netherlands Preps World's First Solar Road". PC Magazine.
  6. 6 June 2006 Straling UMTS-mast niet schadelijk NOS Link
  7. 11 July 2006 Ontruiming Bos en Lommerplein A'dam NOS Link
  8. November 6, 2006 Onacceptabele rol TNO in zaak balkondrama Link

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