Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
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. As a statutory organization, TNO has an independent position that allows to give objective, scientifically founded judgements. 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
Its core areas of activity are:
- Quality of life (This division is a WHO collaborating center for occupational health and occupational medicine )
- Defence, Security and Safety
- Science and Industry
- Built Environment and Geosciences
- Information and Communication Technology
- Automotive Engineering
- Opto-mechanical Instruments for Space and High tech industry
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 fundings TNO receives to do research on behalf of the armed forces, comes from the Ministry of Defense.
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. 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.
- Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC-NL)