Holst Centre: accelerating innovations

Innovation is the key to a healthier and more sustainable world. Addressing the global societal challenges of tomorrow requires us to connect the latest innovations to the businesses that can bring those innovations to life. This is the goal of Holst Centre.

A unique innovation centre

In 2005, TNO and imec (Belgium) joined forces, with support from local, regional and national governments, to establish a location where they could apply their expertise to solving global societal challenges. This is how Holst Centre came into being.

With more than 180 employees from 28 countries, Holst Centre collaborates with industrial partners on over 80 projects. In each project, partners combine their knowledge and expertise to tackle technological challenges. And to translate the latest innovations into solutions for a healthier, more sustainable world.

Holst Centre is one of the few innovation centres to combine expertise in the area of wireless sensor technology and flexible electronics under one roof. Its primary value comes from helping partners develop demonstrators and prototypes that provide proof-of-concept. This enables companies to turn technologies into state-of-the-art, new products and manufacturing processes. The knowledge transfer that occurs during the collaboration makes each partner company stronger, which often leads to higher turnover and job creation.

Two innovation models

Holst Centre usually works in a pre-competitive, open innovation model. This leads to faster, cheaper, and more effective innovation that reduces risks and allows a rapid time to market. Industry partners combine their own Research & Development with shared R&D to leverage all available expertise in a structured and professional setting. The partners work with customised agreements that protect each partner’s interests. In this way, the shared innovation allows entire industries to advance.

Sometimes, a single company is ready to speed up the technology transfer and industrial uptake of results obtained in the shared research. In those cases, Holst Centre enters into a one-on-one relationship with a single partner. When an innovation has reached a higher technology readiness level, or an SME has a shorter R&D horizon, these one-on-one relationships accelerate the time to market. In these cases, Holst Centre ensures that dedicated partnerships and IP agreements are put in place.