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Sector-wide improvements: it pays to innovate together

When it comes to realising improvements in a sector, it often pays for a wide range of companies and organisations in the sector to collaborate (e.g. as company and customers together or as a group of companies). This means that development costs are shared, while the results benefit the entire sector. Experts at the Innovation Centre for Building (ICB) have wide experience in overseeing sector-wide improvement projects with a range of parties.

Sector-wide improvement projects are always carried out in close consultation and with the involvement of several parties in the sector. Together we look at how we can raise the sector to a higher level. We then translate this into concrete, usable solutions, for example: jointly developed guidelines and standards, generic software tools, and validation of new technologies. The resulting solutions are accessible and easily applicable.

Sector examples

A good example of sector-wide improvement is the STOREKA collective in the greenhouse horticulture sector. STOREKA and TNO have worked together for 30 years, and the collaboration has resulted in an extensive set of design programs for greenhouses. Almost every greenhouse in the world has been designed with one of these programs. For the construction sector, the establishment of PROWoCO, a platform for housing corporations, is at an advanced stage. The ICB organises the process for arriving at a shared vision and defining the required development steps, and it can also carry out the development steps. The ICB's independent status and wide knowledge base make it a valuable partner in collective research.

Step-by-step plan

Sector-wide improvements require a tailored approach in each case, although each process has a number of basic steps in common:

  • We define the shared vision and ambitions. To do this we use the TNO Branch Innovation Agenda.
  • On the basis of the shared ambition we identify obstacles to innovation and determine what is needed to remove them (e.g. guidelines, the development of a calculation method or test procedure).
  • The individual companies receive the proposal for the improvement process.
  • A supervising group of involved companies provides input during the development process.
  • In accordance with the chosen innovation trajectory, knowledge is developed and shared, training and education are organised and a plan for further knowledge development is formulated with the group.
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Drs. Peter Paul van 't Veen

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Drs. Peter Paul van 't Veen

  • building
  • construction
  • infrastructure
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