In today's network economy, organisations work closely together in 'chains', and information exchange takes place on a vast scale. Interoperability makes cooperation between organisations more effective and efficient. Open standards can be an important tool for achieving interoperability. TNO supports various sectors with the delivery of interoperability solutions.
The importance of interoperability is immense. It facilitates effective and efficient cooperation in the chain. Open standards reduce supplier dependence and promote innovation. International research has shown that improved interoperability can result in cost savings in the order of billions. On a national level too, savings in the order of millions have been made in industry as well as the public sector. This is why the European Commission and national governments are seeking to stimulate interoperability and to improve the quality of open standards in several fields. In the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Semantic Web the importance in only increasing. Think of trends such as Open, Linked and Big Data and Plug & Play: Successful implementation depends on interoperability and good standards.
TNO has been active in the field of chain digitisation and information standardisation in various sectors for more than 10 years. The expertise is bundled within the Connected Business group, which coordinates research on this theme and provides a transparent overview of available expertise and tools. Within the group innovation in interoperability is key through the deployment of new developments that are emerging on a global scale. For standardisation TNO focuses on applying our extensive knowledge in practice. Some of the activities that TNO performs are:
For these purposes TNO makes use of several instruments developed on the basis of science and best practices, including:
TNO deploys knowledge about interoperability for many customers and sectors, ranging from logistics, energy, agro-food to retail and business services. For example, TNO developed semantic standards for the staffing industry (SETU), the waste-processing industry (STOSAG) and the bicycle industry and is also involved in the management of these standards. On behalf of the European Commission TNO developed the Smart Appliances Reference Ontology (SAREF) and within the energy domain TNO has worked on applying Linked Data techniques to interlink information from three domains in the CERISE-SG project.