Early Research Program: Complexity - Grip on Complexity

TNO's  Program Grip on Complexity focusses on the development of models that help us to understand complex systems and to predict their behaviour. Complexity is commonly briefly described as the science that deals with “the study of the phenomena which emerge from a collection of interacting objects”. TNO focuses on the areas logistics, health and circular economy.

Complexity in Logistics and Transport

Seaport as an example of a complex system

The projects in the field of complexity in logistics are to get more grip on and to improve freight transports. The goal of the multi-year project SWARMPORT is to develop a prototype simulation model for the deep sea ports. The purpose of the model includes helping to understand problems, identification and evaluation of potentially useful measures for process optimization and problem alleviation. The project COMET on synchromodality develops a promising concept for boosting the efficiency of freight transportation, based on combining multiple transportation modes (barges, trucks, trains) in a smart way. This makes a transition possible from the delivery of plain logistic services to integrated services by exploiting the complementary nature of available transportation modes. The project ToGRIP focuses on the development of  a model to predict the most efficient route taking into account the dynamics of the traffic. In the project TRANS-SONIC block chain technology is developed and applied to logistic systems.

Complexity in Health

Within complexity and health TNO focuses on disruptions in the metabolic system for primary and secundary prevention in healthcare. TNO develops a prototype biopsychosocial simulation model with the aim to give people insight in the effect of their behaviour on their health and performance. Another model focuses on the simulation of multimodal interventions on the costs and performance to help multi stakeholders in the optimal choice for integrated prevention programs on chronic health issues, such as type 2 diabetes.

Complexity and Circular Economy

TNO focuses on complex system transitions, such as the transition of oil and gas to sustainable energy and the transition of the application of closed cycles for material use.

In all projects TNO pays special attention to the stakeholder landscape and the needs of stakeholders.

In the Program 'Grip on Complexity' TNO collaborates with universities, private partners and/or agencies, and top sectors by participating in NWO calls.

Early Research Programme

Dr. Esther Zondervan-van den Beuken


Dr. Esther Zondervan-van den Beuken

  • nanomaterials
  • complexity
  • risks
  • life cycle assessment
  • exposure

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