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, in the automotive and electrotechnical industries for example, 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 the private sector (logistics & transport) as well as the public sector. It is not for nothing that the European Commission and national governments are seeking to stimulate interoperability and improve the quality of open standards in several fields. The importance of interoperability is increasing all the time, with trends such as Open Data, Cloud Computing and Plug & Play. Successful implementation depends on interoperability and good standards. Chain and information architectures form the basis for developing interoperability solutions whereby open standards can be used as a tool.

Information hub on interoperability

TNO has been active in the field of chain digitisation and information standardisation in various sectors for around 10 years already. On the basis of this expertise, TNO has set up an information hub on interoperability: the IKI (InformatieKnooppunt Interoperabiliteit), in order to coordinate research on this theme and provide a transparent overview of available expertise and tools. Through the IKI we provide support to our customers in two main areas:

  • Future Internet Interoperability
  • Standardisation

Innovation is central to Future Internet Interoperability, through the deployment of new developments that are emerging on a global scale. In the field of Standardisation, we focus on applying our extensive knowledge in practical processes:

  • Advising on chain digitisation and the selection, use and application of existing (information) standards.
  • Creating and managing a new (information) standard.
  • Assessing the quality of existing (information) standards and implementing them.

For these purposes TNO makes use of several instruments developed on the basis of science and best practices, including:

  • BOMOS: for structuring the organisation and processes for managing and developing open standards.
  • ADONIS: for information on, and management of the adoption of chain digitisation.
  • MOSES: a method for the consistent development of interoperability solutions on the basis of architecture and models.
  • Pressure Cooker: create a standard in one week.
  • iQMSS: for assessing the quality of standards.
  • eValidator: online tool to improve the quality of implementations.

TNO deploys Future Internet Interoperability innovations and Standardisation instruments for many customers and sectors, ranging from the logistics sector to the education and agro-food sectors. TNO developed the standards for the staffing industry (SETU) and the waste-processing industry (STOSAG), deploying a rich set of instruments. These standards are also managed by TNO.


Michiel Stornebrink

  • Data Science
  • eBusiness
  • Semantic web
  • Linked data
  • Standardization