Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research

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Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
TNO building.jpg
Abbreviation TNO
Formation 1932
Purpose applied and contract research
Headquarters Delft, 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 or TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) is a nonprofit company in the Netherlands that focuses on applied science.

TNO is a knowledge organization for companies, government bodies and public organizations. The approximately 3,800 employees work to develop and apply knowledge which makes it the largest research institute in the Netherlands. The organization 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 organization, 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 holds also 10% of the Austrian research centre Joanneum Research since 2004.

Scope of work[edit]

Its core areas of activity are:

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

The Netherlands is the only country in the world where the Ministry of Defense is not responsible for defense research, which is conducted by TNO. However, the funding TNO receives to do research on behalf of the armed forces comes from the Ministry of Defense.[citation needed]

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


In 2006 TNO-ITSEF, a subsidiary organization of TNO, received critique 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 organization 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[edit]


  1. ^ "MISSION AND STRATEGY". Retrieved 12 Jan 2015. 
  2. ^ "ORGANISATION". Retrieved 12 Jan 2015. 
  3. ^ European network of WHO collaborating centres for occupational health
  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

External links[edit]