TNO anniversary: ​​90 years of innovations

Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi, managing director and chairman of the board of TNO:

“At the beginning of the last century, the famous theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Hendrik Antoon Lorentz issued a recommendation for an applied research institute. His analysis, in combination with the work of the Went Committee, led to the establishment of the TNO 90 years ago. Nine decades have brought TNO a lot, even if our task has never been solved. The challenges we face in the Netherlands are becoming more complex, but usually not insurmountable. We have set ambitious goals for this, but TNO cannot and cannot do this alone. Cooperation with government, industry and academia is essential for this. This is therefore an invitation to work with us to achieve these goals for 2030. From different disciplines and together with our partners, we continue to work on tomorrow’s solutions.”

Minister Micky Adriaansens (Economic Affairs and Climate):

“Research, development and innovation are crucial for our future jobs and income. The Netherlands’ position as a strong innovation country is not obvious. Therefore, in economically challenging times, we also invest in innovative products and services in the longer term. Our knowledge institutions, such as TNO, contribute their innovative strength to the goal of keeping the Netherlands economically strong. They form the basis for solutions within digitalisation, but also energy, health and safety. And they are the necessary link between science and entrepreneurship.”

Ambitious targets for 2030

TNO has set ambitious goals for this decade to contribute to social issues and the earning capacity of the Netherlands. All targets will be announced in the near future, but a first set of these are as follows:

Medicine available 2 years faster

To improve the quality of life, prolong life and reduce healthcare costs, new medicines must be made available faster and cheaper. We can accelerate the drug development process by 20 percent (2 years) within this decade. TNO brings this goal closer with microtracer technology and process innovations.

Lifestyle-related diseases halved

To live longer in good health, a healthy lifestyle is the best medicine. We are helping to halve the number of people with lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes or obesity within ten years. This is possible with personalized intervention technology, behavioral change assistance and policy advice.

50% of plastic can be recycled

Reducing plastic waste is of great importance for the health of people and nature. Within ten years, we will make it possible to make half of the plastic we still use recyclable. We do this with new production and recycling technology.

Plastic without fossil fuels

Cleaner air and healthier lungs require an industry free of fossil fuels and toxic emissions. Within the next decade we will be able to produce plastic from air and industrial waste gases in a Dutch factory.

Digital privacy and security guaranteed

Privacy and security are essential prerequisites in the digital society. Within ten years, we will ensure that everyone can exchange data online without worry. We do this by sharing cyber defense techniques and ‘quantum-proof’ secure data.

Looking back on pearls of innovation

Over the past ninety years, a collection has been made from the entire spectrum of research domains (safety, sustainability, digitization, health). From a listening device to locate aircraft in 1935 to setting up the first comprehensive vaccination program for children in 1957. From the first houses with solar panels in 1976 to the AH self-scan in 1987 or the satellite instrument TROPOMI in 2017. It’s not a top-30, rather a selection of all the beautiful things that TNO employees have produced over the past nine decades. See the full range of innovation pearls with explanation of: 90 years of TNO | TNO

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