Early Research Programs: Incubator for promising innovations

Society and industry are facing major challenges and transitions, and TNO is helping to tackle them. In our Early Research Programmes (ERPs), we build the knowledge needed for this work and lay the foundations for promising innovations.

Our ERPs are multi-year research programmes that focus on topics where TNO already has a strong position and where we can make a difference by pooling knowledge from different disciplines. As you don't achieve impactful innovations alone, our highly skilled researchers collaborate closely in ERPs with companies, public authorities, and other knowledge institutions. The research programmes are followed up in, for example, demand-driven programmes, partnerships, start-ups, and/or one-on-one collaboration with individual clients.


  • focus on developing knowledge that will have major societal and economic impacts in the future.
  • provide knowledge that can potentially lead to a variety of applications, but where research is guided by an intended initial application.
  • focus on the development of new technologies, methods, or combinations thereof.
  • ensure continuity in TNO's initial knowledge-building.

Curious about our Early Research Programmes?

View all ERP plans (pdf) or read about the 2022 results (pdf). Below are some examples of ongoing ERPs.

Completed ERPs

Exposense: reduction of particulate matter


Causal links connecting mind and molecules


Would you like to be involved in one of our ERPs? Or do you see new applications for the knowledge developed here? If so, we’d be very keen to talk to you!