TNO helps the chemical industry innovate by enabling enterprises to reduce costs and bring new products to the market faster. Enterprises looking for new products or production processes will seek advice from TNO and conduct pilot design and test in TNO or a third-party laboratory. This enables TNO to continue to contribute to successful innovation in this field.

Chemical companies want to reduce their dependence on single raw materials, such as fossil raw materials. The shift from fossil to renewable materials provides new opportunities and helps to make the chemical industry more sustainable. The bulk chemical industry in Europe is facing fierce competition from regions with low energy and raw material costs such as the Middle East and the United States. In addition, emerging economies are key growth markets for bulk chemical products. In response to these trends, the European chemical industry is developing into a producer of locally produced specialized products near raw material sources, such as biomass and other sustainable energy sources.

Diversification and specialization

TNO put forward a vision for these developments and transformed it into three specific propositions to accelerate the innovation of the chemical industry. We expect that enterprises will pay more and more attention to the niche market of high-end materials and professional products. TNO is helping chemical enterprises to use alternative raw materials, improve production efficiency and bring products to the market faster. We pay special attention to suppliers of renewable raw materials, fine chemicals, specialty chemicals, polymers and consumer chemicals. TNO not only supports the industry with new technologies, but also helps design new value chains and business models.

Three routes

The first way for the chemical industry to gain new opportunities is to use raw materials flexibly. TNO and its partners work together to develop sustainable, economically feasible, safe, cost-effective and relatively easy to scale up alternatives to fossil raw materials. For example, biomass components or raw materials extracted from carbon dioxide.

The second method is a more intelligent and efficient production process. We conceive and develop technologies, methods and business models to make existing processes more sustainable and economically feasible, so as to achieve more flexible production of smaller batches and more diversified products. This enables enterprises to respond more quickly to changing market demand.

For the third route, TNO focuses on qualitative improvement of chemical product functionality. This will enable chemical, pharmaceutical, personal and home care companies to respond more fully to trends in the supply chain, such as the growing demand of consumers for special and personalized products. Formulations and special materials become more and more complex, which requires new functional solutions, so product safety plays a vital role.

Our products and services

We consider technology, sustainability, safety and economic feasibility as an integral part and provide customers with various options.

We provide engineering services to companies looking for new concepts in products or processes. We work with our partners to design and build test-bed or pilot scale tests.

We share technologies developed by us and others with customers through contract research or licensing. The intellectual property rights involved may belong to TNO or customers.

Our customers benefit from cooperation with knowledge institutions, enterprises and government agencies through open innovation projects, which means sharing development costs and risks.