Strategic Analysis & Policy: 'Turning complex issues into concrete innovations'

What should the EU innovation agenda look like? Is testing the Hyperloop, a type of hovertrain with speeds in excess of a thousand kilometres per hour, a feasible project in the Netherlands? What new type of fighter plane or submarine does the Dutch military need? What would it cost, and how much industry and employment would it generate? How do we accelerate the coming energy transition? What still needs to be done to make autonomous driving a reality?

The Strategic Analysis & Policy unit advises governmental authorities and businesses alike on complex societal issues of this kind. We alert them early on to upcoming technologies, influence innovation policy, and orchestrate the introduction of relevant innovations.


Above all we focus on complex, cross-sectoral issues that demand expertise in a variety of different fields: this is TNO’s strength. We can combine in-depth technological, societal, economic and legal expertise and apply it coherently in all the sectors in which TNO is active – from health care to energy, and from ICT to spatial planning in the built environment.


That is why we are regularly consulted by European, national and regional governments. For instance, we help the European Commission draft the EU’s innovation agenda, to ensure that the large sums being invested in innovation are spent appropriately and effectively. We carry out these sorts of activities both independently, as TNO, and together with knowledge institutes from other EU member states. For example, we currently coordinate a large European project that is identifying the innovation issues affecting energy transition.


Privacy is a complex societal issue that calls for a multi-pronged approach. TNO offers a varied range of expertise in this area The Dutch government is consulting us on proposed legislation to protect the interests of citizens and companies, and for businesses we have developed an instrument they can use to develop their own innovative services. EU privacy rules are becoming stricter, and this is an excellent opportunity to invest in privacy – not just to meet legal requirements, but also to give consumers more control over the services they use.


For the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministry of Justice and Security we are researching into the security of the hardware and the software that civilians, businesses and governmental authorities use to communicate via all possible devices and networks. This research is delivering numerous opportunities to improve digital security.
For the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management we are researching into technological developments surrounding electronic checking in and checking out on public transport, with a view to maximizing passenger convenience and minimizing system abuse.
Smart urbanization is high on municipal, provincial and national agendas. We are helping government authorities to make the best choices in creating smart cities. This needs a coherent, integrated approach in which we combine the expertise we have gained in fields such as mobility, liveability, sustainability, air quality, noise pollution, and energy.


The Strategic Analysis & Policy unit leads in identifying and interpreting innovations, in getting them on the agenda, in orchestrating the process, and in their final implementation.Within TNO we bring every imaginable discipline together to tackle cross-sectoral issues and to generate sustainable innovations.

Other examples of our work include:

  • developing the agenda of the Smart Industry field labs;
  • researching into the working of public-private partnerships for innovation;
  • improving the sustainability of housing association building stock;
  • contributing towards the digitization of industry for the EU;
  • developing an innovation agenda for the insurance sector;
  • researching into start-ups that resulted in the launch of

Would you like to know more about Strategic Analysis & Policy, or to work with us? Then get in touch!

We use anonymous cookies to enhance the use of our site. Our privacy statement has been updated to reflect the new EU privacy policy.