Focus Areas

We work on innovations within five societal themes


In the Netherlands, the importance of the theme of industry is experienced ever more strongly. Rightly so, according to theme director Arnold Stokking. ‘Industry is a factor which determines prosperity, creating jobs and generating 80% of Dutch exports. But industry can only survive if it continues to innovate. Therefore we consider it our job to aid industry in this process, implementing our knowledge in such fields as ICT, sensors and robotics.’

Healthy Living

We are all living longer in the Netherlands. We need more care as a result. Prevention, high-quality care and cost control are the most important issues we will face in the coming years. ‘It is a challenging field, where a lot can still be achieved’, says Niek Snoeij, managing director of Healthy Living. ‘We need to take a different approach towards care, with the focus on participation and not on the disease.’

Defence, Safety & Security

Throughout the world security and safety are primary concerns for the future. Both at global and local level, the future will be characterised by economic, physical, ecological, territorial, social and political instability. External and internal security are becoming increasingly interrelated.


Cities are successful communities. It is what makes them attractive but also vulnerable. ‘Urban areas are becoming fuller, busier and more complex. This is a problem for the liveability and competitiveness of the cities’, says Leo Kusters, managing director of Urbanisation. Concrete solutions and vision are required to change this trend.


By far the biggest challenge worldwide during the next few decades is the transition from a fossil-fuel based energy system to sustainable alternatives. Over the coming period the focus will be on hybrid energy systems, whereby we will be combining different fossil and sustainable sources. TNO wants to employ innovations, both technical and non-technical, to accelerate the transition to a fully sustainable energy supply.

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