Unit Industry

Innovating for employment, prosperity and well-being. TNO Unit Industry has the ambition to advance Dutch industry within the context of sustainable development goals. We believe that the solution for the problems facing humanity today will to a large extent rely on new technologies, that enable new materials, products, processes and services. Within the Unit Industry, building on many years of experience, we focus on key enabling technologies in the areas of photonics, mechatronics, nanotechnology, quantum technology, systems engineering, printed and thin film electronics, chemistry and materials science. We bring them to the point where these technologies and solutions can be implemented industrially.

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Digitization crucial for circular industry

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Industry represents an essential link in the search for solutions to the major societal challenges that we face. We aim to help by using our specialist knowledge in the following focus areas:

  • Nanofabrication for patterning and metrology, for example in the semiconductor sector
  • Satellite instrumentation for earth observation and astronomy
  • Precision instrumentation for scientific applications
  • Thin-film electronics for a wide range of applications, from medical sensor systems to automotive applications in dashboards
  • 3D printing processes for new applications, focusing on scaling up printing technology in serial production
  • Quantum computers and quantum communication to strengthen computing power and secure communication flows
  • Smart materials, bio-aromatics and electrification for a greener chemical industry.


Smart Industry stands for far-reaching digitisation, creating links between products, machines and people, and using new production technology. By enabling communication between smarter machines, robots and other parts of the production process, industry can function even more efficiently. Optimisation occurs not only within companies, but also between different companies in the value chain. TNO is encouraging the development of new initiatives by setting up regional field labs where companies, educational institutions and knowledge institutions work together to achieve the objectives of Smart Industry. It is only by building such alliances that we can provide global solutions to global challenges.


Together with companies and knowledge partners, we are building regional ecosystems. We are creating strong public-private partnerships based on platform technology, using cutting-edge shared facilities. By working together, we can develop more knowledge and ensure that what we create can be deployed more quickly.

A greener chemical industry

The chemical industry has the potential to contribute enormously to the reduction of Dutch CO₂  emissions, and to the sustainability of our society as a whole. TNO is focusing on a number of innovation and implementation programmes, using a smart mix of technologies, designed along three complementary thematic lines which all contribute to the sustainability of processes and products in the sector itself, and the applications for which those products are used:

  • Flexible raw materials: Circular & Bio-based
  • Electrification for more efficient processes
  • Improved product functionality with polymer materials

These programmes focus on the further development and implementation of emerging technologies such as electrochemical conversion, the use of bio-based materials and the application of nanomaterials in coatings and films. Our focus is not limited to the large multinationals, however, but also includes innovative pioneers in the chemicals sector, including many SMEs. And we also actively seek out cooperation with companies from other sectors and within regional ecosystems. Together, they make up the value chains of the future.

As a supplier of smart new materials and raw materials, the chemical industry also makes a substantial contribution to CO₂ reduction in other sectors, such as agri-food, transport and mobility, high-tech industry, and the construction and energy sectors.

TNO Unit Industry has the ambition to advance Dutch industry within the context of sustainable development goals..


Arnaud de Jong MSc


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