Boost for TNO facilities for sustainable mobility, bio-based construction and AI

Artificial intelligence
Bio-based building materials
Sustainable mobility
23 November 2023

The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Micky Adriaansens, has allocated budget to applied research facilities. In the first round for these Applied Research Facilities (FTO) announced on 2 November 2023, three proposals from TNO were approved.

Investment in applied research facilities is crucial to the future of the Netherlands. After all, securing the country’s earning power is not only about developing new knowledge and techniques, but, above all, about applying them. Besides funding facilities for the Applied Research Organisations, the minister is also investing in various facilities of knowledge institutions such as the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

The three TNO proposals that were awarded funding are a boost to TNO's portfolio in sustainable mobility, bio-based construction and AI. This allows us to collaborate even further with businesses and public authorities, focusing on future earning power and social welfare.

Innovation Centre for Sustainable Powertrains (ICSP)

There is an urgent demand in Dutch and European society for sustainable propulsion technology for all forms of transport, such as heavy road transport, shipping and mobile machinery. Industry is urgently calling on TNO to support it with knowledge and expertise. The experiments needed to develop and validate these innovative propulsion technologies call for new equipment and the expansion of existing facilities.

R&D facility for Biobased Building Materials Innovation Center (BBMIC)

To accelerate the transition to bio-based construction, products that are safe, sustainable and affordable have to be developed.

However, there is a lack of the right R&D facilities to enable scale-up. The funding announced will allow TNO to invest in pilot production lines and test facilities to develop and scale up products made from waste wood, fungi and biofibres such as flax and hemp. There will also be an adhesive laboratory and a CLT production line for producing 0-series.

GPT-NL: a facility for a sovereign Dutch language model

The Netherlands is taking a huge step in developing public expertise and experience in generative AI language models. Having its own open language model strengthens expertise on the subject and also means a boost for AI research and innovation. This model is needed to develop, strengthen and maintain digital sovereignty. It marks a landmark step towards a transparent, fair and testable use of AI, according to Dutch and European values and guidelines and with respect for data ownership.

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