Maritime & Offshore: sustainable use of our oceans

New opportunities for digitalisation in regard to construction, the energy transition to zero-emission shipping and safe structures at sea: through these and other examples of applied research, TNO is working hard to further develop the position of the Netherlands as a global player in the maritime sector.

Would you like to know more about TNO’s projects and research in the field of Maritime & Offshore?

Please contact Pieter Boersma


The challenges facing companies and public authorities are large and complex, requiring multidisciplinary knowledge and collaboration. “That’s why we listen carefully to what’s going on,” says Pieter Boersma of TNO.

“Driven by the energy transition in the maritime and offshore sector, we’re working with TU Delft to combine (for example) manpower, knowledge and research infrastructure in the Dutch Ocean Technology Centre. In the DOTC, we bring leading researchers together and offer access to unique test facilities. This enables us to realise a more efficient approach to mission-driven research.”

Smart, safe superstructures

Among other things, TNO is committed to the safety of fixed and floating structures at sea. New fuels such as hydrogen, methanol and ammonia must be able to be safely bunkered and stored in the port or offshore.

Offshore foundations for wind turbines present other challenges, such as materials and the dynamics of these megastructures that operate under extreme conditions. The integration of sensors into the composites makes it increasingly possible to draw a link between design, execution and cost-effective maintenance.

Sustainable, emission-free shipping

Another key focus is the rapid realisation of sustainable shipping – emission-free, if possible. “We share technical and scientific knowledge and research capacities with Dutch research institutes such as TU Delft, the Netherlands Defence Academy and MARIN,” continues Boersma.

“Operational profiles, ship configurations, engine configurations, performance and emission values are all important research topics. Our ambitions are in line with the maritime Green Deal and European agreements. And the underwater world also has our attention. Imagine reducing underwater noise for installations and propulsion at sea.”

Efficient maritime operations above and below sea level

TNO produces innovations for autonomous operations, both above and below sea level. “We focus on aspects such as sensing, situational awareness and positioning, safety and the optimisation of human-vessel interactions. Smart, validated algorithms, data analysis and decision support are just some of the results. With our autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), we’re able to communicate in a fully wireless manner while underwater, and we’re looking for new applications. Previously developed and applicable knowledge from the automotive and defence domains contributes to accelerated integration in the civil maritime domain.”

Want to know more or innovate together?

Whether it concerns the on-board capture of CO2, the validation of a superstructure regarding structural integrity or the development of a new underwater application, TNO applies its knowledge from a broad knowledge base to new innovations on themes that play a role in society.

Boersma concludes: “Companies and public authorities that want to know more about this, that see solutions for their own company or that want to collaborate in projects – I wholeheartedly invite you to contact me.”


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Pieter Boersma MSc

  • maritime
  • offshore


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