Complex and high-risk problems are not something you want to deal with alone. That's why companies, public authorities, and other organisations work with TNO. Our knowledge and expertise are focused on application, and we are happy to use them for others. We do this in many different ways and for many different sectors.

Collaborate with TNO as an SME entrepreneur in innovation projects

TNO wishes to boost innovation in subjects that are relevant to your company and to society. We focus on subjects that contribute to a digital, healthy, safe and sustainable society. That is why we connect people and knowledge to create innovations that increase the competitiveness of SMEs and sustainably enhance society's well-being.

TNO helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to innovate successfully and actively supports entrepreneurs with knowledge and expertise of technology in relation to users, market and vision.

TNO can help with:

  • specific R&D technology-related issues
  • finding the right partners
  • sharing relevant knowledge

TNO participates in various domestic and international partnerships in which we like to involve entrepreneurs.

The TNO Innovation Platform contains a current range of projects and activities in which you can participate immediately. It is also the place to ask questions when looking for specific knowledge relating to R&D and innovation. We will be happy to help you with, for example, an expert session or a referral in our network. You can turn to us for domestic and international projects, purchasing knowledge licences, using state-of-the-art facilities and participating in interesting knowledge sessions.

TNO actively disseminates knowledge to SMEs in the following partnerships, also known as fieldlabs.

Dutch Optics Centre

The Dutch Optics Centre  operates as a platform where businesses, branch organisations and knowledge institutions work together on the development and/or production of high-tech optical and opto-mechanical products.

Smart connected supplier network

The Smart Connected Supplier Network (SCSN) fieldlab is an initiative of HTSM, Brainport Industries, software suppliers and TNO to support the high-tech manufacturing industry in digitalising the chain.

Flexible manufacturing fieldlab

The Flexible Manufacturing fieldlab parties work together to demonstrate the possibilities offered by digitalisation and robotics.

Building and Technology Innovation Centre (BTIC)

Public authorities, knowledge institutions and market players in the building and technology sector join forces in the Building and Technology Innovation Centre (BTIC) to create long-term knowledge programmes.


VoltaChem is an industry-driven Shared Innovation Programme for the electrification of the chemical industry initiated by TNO and the Chemicals Top Sector. Read more about VoltaChem.

TNO helps your start-up by offering our technical expertise, our excellent research and our modern facilities. We have experts in almost every field. TNO's aim is to help Dutch entrepreneurs develop their products and their business.

Do you have a start-up or scale-up and need research, consultancy or experimental facilities? TNO is the largest organisation for applied research in the Netherlands with experts in dozens of disciplines. From building innovations to child health, from sustainable transport to strategic analyses and from circular economy to space instrumentation. TNO does it all! Contact us or read on for more information about the services we offer and the current start-up initiatives we are involved in.

Creating innovations requires collaboration, and that is possible only with partners. In order to support you as an SME entrepreneur even better in innovation projects, we cooperate with various organisations:

  • MKB Nederland (SME Netherlands) and TNO underline with their cooperation the importance of innovation for the development of SMEs.
  • MKB Servicedesk and TNO and have joined forces to support companies in their innovation.
  • The Chamber of Commerce and TNO cooperate in innovation-oriented knowledge transfer to SMEs.
  • RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) cooperates with TNO in finding a sound financing scheme for its SME relations.

We also cooperate frequently with universities, knowledge institutions and public authorities.

Are you working on innovation and do you have an R&D issue that TNO can help you with? Then get in touch with Nienke Dijkstra.


In the automotive field, TNO has unique expertise in software for safety-related applications, such as advanced driver assistance systems, automated driving applications, and cooperative driving applications. TNO thus supports the automotive industry in increasing the functional safety of vehicles so as to reduce the number of traffic accidents.

Building and construction

Making the building sector sustainable is an important contribution to achieving the government's climate targets. That’s why TNO champions circular building, with lower CO2 emissions and less use of primary raw materials. For example, TNO is researching the use of bio-based building materials and developing an innovative concrete mix to substantially reduce nitrogen emissions on construction sites.


TNO is developing devices with hybrid printed electronics, focusing on medical monitoring equipment and smart garments. Customisable, multisensory foils allow us to use everyday objects to carry out measurements, which in turn generates data for monitoring health and well-being.


TNO is an innovator in the field of energy. For example, we research hybrid energy systems and study the design of future energy hubs, and we innovate with hydrogen.  TNO also has unique expertise in testing and measuring wind turbines so as to assess their suitability for the market.


The financial sector and technology are closely intertwined – which creates both opportunities and threats. That’s why TNO is working to improve cybersecurity in the financial sector. We do so, for example, by developing cryptography techniques to ensure that data can be shared securely between financial institutions. We are also working hard on post-quantum cryptography, so that payment transactions will still be secure after the advent of the quantum computer.

High Tech Industry

One of the biggest challenges facing industry today is sustainability. TNO therefore advises companies on the sustainable use of energy and the reuse of raw materials. In addition, a lot of research takes place in cooperation with High Tech Industry, for example to develop methods for making the chemicals industry circular and for reducing CO2 emissions.


Digitalisation and automation are changing the world of logistics. TNO is therefore conducting extensive research into Connected Automated Transport in the logistics sector, i.e. automated logistics. Together with parties in the field, we are investigating how transport can be made safer and more sustainable with the aid of new technologies.


TNO is dedicated to improving efficiency and safety at sea. We are involved, for example, in innovation in the construction of offshore wind turbines and floating solar panels, as well as developing new measuring techniques and sensors to make inspections safer and more efficient.

Government bodies

As a wide-ranging research organisation, TNO works closely with government bodies, from local to European level. We participate, for example, in drafting research agendas, pursue European cooperation to study cross-border issues, and formulate policy recommendations in the field of innovation.

Recycling and waste

Recycling is an essential part of making the economy more sustainable. That’s why TNO innovates in the field of waste collection and processing, ranging from innovative ways of separating waste at molecular level to innovative ideas for making no less than 87 percent of all plastic part of a circular system.


TNO is working to future-proof the Dutch network infrastructure. In doing so, we also help organisations prepare for a quantum-proof future, we seek solutions for using 5G in agriculture, and we work together to make the digital infrastructure of the future sustainable.


There are major challenges and opportunities in the field of healthcare. TNO pursues innovation in the efficient development of medication, and is developing methods to personalise treatment processes, for instance for lung cancer, but we are also involved in making hospitals more sustainable and determining what the future of healthcare should look like.