Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek or TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) is a not-for-profit organization in the Netherlands that focuses on applied science. The main office of TNO is located in Delft. Other locations of TNO are: The Hague, Rijswijk, Leiden, Groningen, Apeldoorn, Helmond, Hoofddorp, Soesterberg, Utrecht, Den Helder, Zeist, Enschede and Eindhoven.
TNO is a knowledge organization for companies, government bodies and public organizations. The daily work of approximately 5,400 employees is to develop and apply knowledge. The organization also provides contract research and specialist consultancy as well as grants licences for patents and specialist software. TNO tests and certifies products and services, and issues an independent evaluation of quality. Moreover, TNO sets up new companies to market innovations.
TNO was established by law in 1932 to support companies and governments with innovative, practicable knowledge. As a statutory organization TNO has an independent position that allows to give objective, scientifically founded judgements. TNO is, in many ways, comparable to the German Fraunhofer Society. There is not really a comparable English language organisation in the UK, USA or Canada, except perhaps CSIRO in Australia.
Its core areas of activity are:
- Quality of life
- Defence, Security and Safety
- Science and Industry
- Built Environment and Geosciences
- Information and Communication Technology
- Automotive Engineering
In 2006, TNO-ITSEF, a subsidiary organization of TNO, received critique for resisting publication of its test reports regarding widely used voting computers in the Netherlands. In the same year A Swiss research group refuted a widely publicized TNO report claiming UMTS radiation is a health hazard. The organization also received criticism after the evacuation of 200 residents of an Amsterdam housing estate over fears of its structural integrity when the construction had been technically approved by TNO only 5 months earlier. Also in 2006 TNO was criticized for their handling of an investigation into the collapse of a balcony in Maastricht in 2003 killing two.
- The Netherlands is the only country in the world where the Ministry of Defense is not responsible for defense research. Instead, TNO does this research. However, the fundings TNO receives to do research on behalf of the armed forces, comes from the Ministry of Defense.
- Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC-NL)
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