"Our Operations is becoming a showcase for our research"

TNO wants to take a big step towards even more sustainable research facilities. That is also the mission of Mathieu Baas, program manager Energy & Sustainability in the Corporate Real Estate & Facilities department. "We already have a lot of inhouse expertise for this."

"Three years ago I started the TNO Trainee Programme. In various roles, I have deepened my knowledge of the energy transition, a subject that is close to my heart. TNO advises government and industry on sustainability, but I didn't see that reflected prominently in our own business operations. There is still a lot to be gained in making our own research facilities more sustainable. In February 2019 I received an invitation for a 'Coffee with De Krom', in which our CEO Paul de Krom talks to employees about strategic topics. We have so much expertise in the field of sustainability, but we’re not yet showcasing this with our own research facilities, I said. De Krom agreed. He put me in touch with the director of Corporate Real Estate & Facilities. He has been my manager since last summer."

Practise what you preach

"The Corporate Real Estate & Facilities department contributes to the management, operations and maintenance of the TNO locations and to take the step towards even more sustainable research facilities. The unique thing is that TNO already has an enormous amount of inhouse expertise for this. I have set out a process that encourages colleagues to make their innovations applicable within their own business operations. The initiative lies with the researchers; together we take the projects further. It is extremely inspiring to be able to show the end result to potential clients. Look, that's how we do it at TNO."

FITS

"For example, we recently applied for a subsidy to equip our research location on Oude Waalsdorperweg in The Hague with a heat-harvesting-facade that functions as a solar collector. A special coating on the panels enables the energy from the invisible part of the sunlight to also be used. Furthermore, because you can colour the coating, it becomes a aesthetic building material that allows you to comfortably use the entire façade surface to generate heat. In warm months, the system can be used to cool the building. TNO has developed this innovative facade system FITS (Façade panel with Invisible Thermal Solar collector) in collaboration with AkzoNobel and Emergo, and has already applied it on a smaller scale in the renovation of a gymnasium in Almere. Now it's the turn of our location in The Hague."

VR conferencing

"There more such innovations being developed that will also enable us to achieve our own climate targets. For example, the ICT unit is working on technology for virtual reality conferencing to make online collaboration more realistic and attractive. This is now being tested and could, for example, in the future be installed at our location in Eindhoven, so that colleagues do not have to travel many kilometres to consult with TNO Petten."

Better world

"During an exchange semester in Indonesia, I saw how the local students seized their chance to gain knowledge at university that, once back in their village or city, they could use to improve the lives of the people there. That drive is still a source of inspiration for me. With my enthusiasm for the cool things TNO does, I also want to leave my mark."

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