‘Innovation is the market introduction of a technical or organisational novelty, not just its invention.’ Joseph Schumpeter

Core tasks

We aim to achieve this by performing two core tasks (roles). The first is to support the Dutch government in carrying out statutory government tasks in the public interest. TNO’s second core task is to strengthen the earning power of the Dutch economy and increase employment.

The strategy

TNO wants to substantially increase the impact it has through performing its two core tasks. A strong knowledge base is crucial to support our core tasks and we therefore closely monitor relevant scientific and technological trends (including emerging technologies). TNO chooses to continue focusing mainly on making scientific insights applicable in practice.

We’ve identified some strategic key elements to help achieve that aim.

Client focus

Only with a thorough understanding of the complex context in which TNO’s clients and partners operate can TNO further increase its societal impact and potential.

Valorisation and implementation

To facilitate impact, TNO also focuses, often together with partners, on the last difficult steps leading to the successful market launch of a product or service.


TNO’s technical knowledge, facilities, broad orientation, and national coverage can play a major role in addressing challenges facing SMEs in the Netherlands.


The innovation landscape has become significantly more competitive. Time-to-market, speed, and agility have become crucial.

Focus and mass

TNO wants to generate impact by focusing on 4 societal themes: safety, health, sustainability, and digitalisation, as well as key enabling technologies. To give direction to these efforts, we work with ambitious targets that we call ‘moonshots’.

Systems thinking and system innovation

TNO has the unique ability to grasp many perspectives from different domains and understand a complex system – essential for accelerating societal transitions.

Fit and healthy organisation

TNO wants to facilitate a safe, healthy, and connected way of working, aimed at the sustainable employability of its staff. TNO is also committed to diversity and inclusiveness, ensuring a workplace where everyone feels at home and is given equal opportunities to develop.

TNO’s goals for 2030

Over the past nine decades, countless innovations have been developed, each with its own impact. For the coming decade, TNO sets ambitious goals to realise together with partners. With these goals for 2030, TNO contributes to societal issues and the earning capacity of the Netherlands.

Connecting Changing Accelerating

Read our strategy or the summary (pdf).

TNO mission and vision