Sustainable autonomous industries: innovation by industrial companies

Dutch industry is an important pillar underpinning our economy and prosperity. Ensuring that remains the case is a challenge, given the major technological and societal transitions we are facing today. Industrial companies in the Netherlands need to demonstrate the value of new industrial systems as a pillar that supports well-being.

Well-being and the role of industrial companies

The focus on well-being is a game-changer. In a nutshell, this is all about placing the emphasis on more than just economic growth and financial results. Quality of life, welfare, and happiness also play an important role. Although, to some extent, these are subjective concepts, industrial companies can play their part by curbing energy consumption and pollution within industrial systems.

If industrial companies in the Netherlands want to contribute to the goal of well-being, they will need significant innovation capacity. A balance will have to be struck between different challenges:

  • Paying attention to the health and well-being of the workforce
  • Paying attention to the health and well-being of local residents
  • Making industrial chains more sustainable
  • Minimising negative externalities
  • Creating economic value through innovation
  • Optimising production processes

All these activities and objectives are competing for limited space in the Netherlands. If we also add competition with foreign industrial companies to the mix, the challenge is complete. Future-proof industrial systems address all these challenges and issues.

Strategic autonomy

During the Covid pandemic the Netherlands’ and the EU’s dependence on international supply chains became painfully clear. The European Union realised the strategic importance of critical raw materials. This is particularly true in the industrial sector. Dutch industry has a role to play in ensuring the strategic autonomy of our country and the EU.

Given recent geopolitical developments, strategic autonomy is an important prerequisite for safeguarding earning capacity in the Netherlands. That does not mean we should cut ourselves off from other countries. Quite the contrary! A small country like ours actually benefits from good international cooperation with countries in Europe and beyond.

While it is impossible to predict how the situation will develop further, it is inevitable that Dutch industry will have some big choices to make when it comes to transforming industrial systems.

Predictive power

TNO Vector outlines possible courses of action when it comes to the choices with which industrial companies and governments are faced. For this we draw on a broad knowledge base and employ a diverse range of specialists.

We help our clients with broad analyses and interpretation, and develop a transition path (or roadmap) in which all stakeholders are involved. In this way we help organisations look ahead and make the various steps financially viable.

That is how we create the right conditions for developing new industrial systems and encouraging investment in innovation. Such an approach will create a strong, sustainable, and autonomous industrial sector in the Netherlands – one that contributes to our national earning capacity and the well-being of all Dutch people.