Our view of a digital society

Thema:
Digital society

The concept of digital sovereignty is growing in importance both in the Netherlands and the EU. How do we safeguard our European public values and standards in our digital systems and how do we ensure digital security? These are challenges that we’re facing as a society.

The Netherlands as digital frontrunner in Europe. At TNO, we want to make a demonstrable contribution to this goal. Because digitalisation supports and accelerates all major innovation challenges. In addition, digitalisation sometimes has unintended, far-reaching effects on society as a whole. It also forces us to think about how we want to shape this transformation.

Digitalisation offers opportunities and challenges

Taking classes online at home, having a robot as a colleague, and hitting the road in a self-driving car. Digitalisation is changing the way we live, work, and learn. But it also affects societal issues such as social inequality and safety.

At TNO, we support our partners and customers with digitalisation challenges. Examples are the implementation of smart industry, the digitalisation of SMEs, smart mobility, and digital health technologies. But also support in developing the next generation of semiconductors and quantum computers. Our ambition is that we and others use data and systems responsibly, always taking privacy, digital security, and inclusiveness into consideration. Because everyone must be able to participate.

Basic conditions for a digital society

In addition to the implementation-oriented approach above, we work on technologies that provide the basic conditions for digital transformation. We develop generic methods, technologies, and tools that can be used in multiple domains and across multiple sectors. And we develop and integrate the most important supporting IT technologies from the Dutch and European digitalisation agendas. Because it’s precisely the combination of IT technologies that creates innovation. In doing so, we focus on the following 5 main themes:

1. Fast, open infrastructures

Dutch IT infrastructure is strong and heavily used. Further integration of IT infrastructures and connections between and across domains will increase. We’re therefore working on an open and secure infrastructure. For example, cloud services can work together in a secure manner.

2. Data sharing

Data sharing must be a secure and autonomous process. But it’s also necessary for everyone to be able to keep control of their data. That’s why we focus on multiple uses of data, data quality, data reliability, and data security.

3. Reliable IT

We contribute to IT services and an infrastructure that’s automatically safe and reliable without human intervention. For example, systems that can withstand cyber attacks, but which also take privacy into account.

4. Systems engineering

We provide structured methodologies and technology. This enables our customers in high-tech and IT system development to design and use increasingly complex systems efficiently and effectively.

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Our goal is to use AI to address societal and economic challenges. AI is the ability of machines to exhibit intelligent behaviour. We take legislation (e.g., privacy) and ethics into account. The major challenge is to bring together AI expertise and domain knowledge. And that’s our strength. We combine various AI technologies with expertise from a variety of fields.

This is how we work on a digital society

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