2021 Annual Report: Steering transitions

At TNO, like in many other companies and organisations, the year 2021 mainly centred around the COVID-19 crisis. Despite the many challenges involved in this, TNO can look back on a good year. The new strategy period 2022-2025 has officially commenced, many new innovations were launched that will make a crucial contribution to the immense societal transitions we’re currently facing, and the organisation is in a good financial position.

Digital annual report

What exactly TNO did and what it achieved in 2021 is set out in its annual report entitled ‘Steering transitions’.

Impact and social relevance

The impact of TNO once again became tangible during the year in countless innovations. You can find the top 10 ‘gamechangers’ throughout this annual report and these will be described in more detail there. In addition, we published a series of ‘whitepapers’ focusing on innovative insights. In 2021, the featured topics included energy poverty, the skills-based labour market of the future, increased sustainability of buildings, new car taxes and circular business models focused on digitalisation.

Strategy 2022 - 2025

In the spring of 2021, TNO presented its strategy for the 2022-2025 period, entitled ‘Connecting, changing, accelerating’, to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. In the new strategy period, priority will be given to TNO’s promise to society. TNO has the ambition to contribute to solutions that create a safe & secure, healthy, sustainable and digital society. TNO explicitly links these four societal challenges to strengthening the earning power of the Dutch economy, which it aims to achieve by focusing on the systems approach and transdisciplinarity. The annual report contains a separate chapter discussing the previous 2018-2021 strategy and also looks ahead at the coming 2022-2025 strategy period.

B4x challenges

In 2020, TNO’s innovative strength was deployed strategically to help tackle the COVID-19 crisis, relying on short-cycle innovation and practical solutions. Under the heading ‘Brains4Corona’ twenty project were launched and executed, including the LAMP test that enabled a rapid and reliable diagnosis of coronavirus infections. In 2021, TNO experts collaborating in ‘Brains4Nitrogen’ focused on tackling the nitrogen problem, with the aim of finding solutions that reduce nitrogen emissions. This also resulted in four successful solutions, including ‘Torwash’, a machine for manure processing with the potential to reduce a farm's nitrogen footprint to zero.

Employer excellence

In 2021, Randstad presented TNO with the award for the most attractive employer in the non-profit category. TNO also managed to win this Randstad Award in 2014 and 2016. LinkedIn ranked TNO third in the ‘Top Companies Nederland’ list, featuring 25 companies where employees are best able to develop their careers.

A word of thanks

TNO was fortunately able to continue to count on many clients and partners in 2021. The Executive Board is very grateful for their confidence in the organisation during this complicated period. We look forward to continuing our cooperation in the coming year.