How We Work

Knowledge development is a joint endeavour. That is something we notice every day at TNO. That is why companies, public-sector bodies and other organisations frequently work with us. And we are keen to work with these parties. The collaboration takes many forms. Interested in finding out how we can work with you?

Projects on commission

If there is something you would like to have researched for your company, public-sector organisation or foundation, you can commission a research project. We will make agreements with you about the work, the cost, and the exclusivity of the results. For example, we can research how you can make or improve a particular product. In addition, we advise on production processes, help with troubleshooting and carry out consultancy commissions. We employ specialists in a range of fields, from mathematicians to behavioural scientists, from econometrists to optomechatronics experts. Combining different disciplines enables us to come up with creative solutions that can strengthen your company’s competitive position or make your policy more effective. We will be happy to draw up an offer for you.

Public-private partnerships

Companies and public-sector and social organisations can also work with us in public-private partnerships, which can take the form of a short-term project or a long-term program. These activities fall within the scope of Demand-Driven Programs, or the Knowledge Transfer Program designed specifically for SMEs. Every year we receive government funding that covers part of the research through the Research Cooperation Funds (SMO, Samenwerkingsmiddelen Onderzoek). The remainder of the funding comes from the partner(s). The Demand-Driven Programs fall within the nine top sectors or the five social themes that the Ministry of Economic Affairs has defined together with key stakeholders. If you can provide input, or you would like to know how to participate, please contact us.

Early Research Programme

You can also participate in our Early Research Programmes, in which we develop knowledge in fields that will be of great social and economic importance in the future, but may not generate results in the short term. For example, we study how ‘big data’ can be usefully analysed and how foods and medicines can be more effectively tailored to individual needs in order to reduce healthcare costs. We finance these studies with a fixed government subsidy.

Research remits

For a number of ministries we carry out research into areas that they consider a priority. The ministries give us specific funding for these remits. We carry out this type of research for the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (e.g. providing information about the subsurface in the Netherlands) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (e.g. for improving labour-market participation rates).

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