October 23, 2021

Three ways TNO helps chemical companies innovate

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

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

Diversification and specialization

TNO puts forward a vision for these developments and transforms it into three specific propositions to accelerate the innovation of chemical industry. We expect that companies will increasingly focus on niche markets for high-end materials and specialized products. TNO is helping chemical companies use alternative raw materials to produce more efficiently and bring their products to market faster. We focus on suppliers of renewable raw materials, fine chemicals, specialty chemicals, polymers and daily chemicals. TNO not only supports the industry with new technologies, we also help 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 viable, safe, cost-effective and relatively easy to scale alternatives to fossil raw materials. For example, biomass components or raw materials extracted from carbon dioxide.

The second method leads to a more intelligent and efficient production process. We conceive and develop technologies, methods and business models to make the existing processes more sustainable and economically feasible, so as to produce more flexible products with smaller batches and more varieties. This enables chemical companies to respond more quickly to changing market demand.

For the third approach, TNO focuses on qualitative improvement of chemical product functions. This will enable chemical, pharmaceutical, personal and home care companies to respond more fully to supply chain trends, such as growing consumer demand for special and personalized products. As formulations and special materials become more and more complex, new functional solutions are needed, and product safety plays a crucial role.

Our products and services

We offer our customers a wide range of choices, and technology, sustainability, safety and economic viability are considered integral parts of the whole.

We provide engineering services for companies looking for new concepts of products or processes. We work with our partners to design and build trials on bench or pilot scale.

We share technology developed by us and other companies with our customers through contract research or authorization. The intellectual property involved may belong to TNO or the customer.

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

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