Study Visit of TNO, Netherlands

On Thursday the 21st and Friday the 22nd of June, 40 European guests visited TNO. During this two-day Study Visit, the participants had a look at –among other things- the ageing-in-place dwellings in Woerden and the elderly living Bergwegcomplex of Humanitas in Rotterdam.

Study Visit

During the second study visit of the INTERREG project INNOVAge, it was time for TNO to show Dutch practices in the field of eco-independent living and smart homes. The focus of this visit was on the involvement of the end-user in independent living. TNO aimed to show the quadruple helix in practice; the first day by showing the cooperation between knowledge institutes, the industry and health care. The second day by also demonstrating how policy makers can be involved. In all aspects of the study visit the end-user was the focal point. TNO showed that the question is not: which smart home systems can we install in a house? But: which smart home systems do the elderly want to in their house? Similarly, the take home message of TNO was that achieving independent living should be about how the elderly experience their house, their neighbourhood, their care, their safety, their facilities, their interactions and their life in general.

Thursday June 21st

The visit commenced at the TNO office in Hoofddorp - very close to Schiphol Airport. After an introduction to TNO by Joram Nauta, Eric Franck started with a presentation about social cost/benefit analyses of gerotechnology. He gave the example of Rosetta, a gerotechnological system for people suffering from alzheimer’s. A TNO study shows that the labour cost savings after implementing Rosetta does not outweigh the investments. Eric Franck explains that the real savings are most likely in the delay of admittance to nursing homes – something that is currently underinvestigated.

After lunch, the 40 guests traveled to Woerden by bus. In Woerden, the participants had a chance to visit the ageing-in-place showcase dwellings. In the Technology @ Home (in Dutch: Technologie Thuis Nu!) programme the design of dwellings is differentiated for lifestyle and type of impairment. The showcase dwellings build within the programme are: (i) the comfort, safety and low vision home (CSL); (ii) the dementia home; and (iii) the COPD and mobility home. This Technology @ Home programme was started by a consortium consisting of the professional association of installers, their professional education fund, a regional innovation fund and the Research Group of Demand-Driven Care of the Faculty of Health Care of Hogeschool Utrecht. Later the Hogeschool Utrecht was succeeded by TNO. Simultaneously to the showcase visit, the other participants listened to two presentations by TNO experts. Remy van der Vlies explained about the background of Technology @ Home, and Oscar Rietkerk presented about his project concerning the scaling up of eHealth for people suffering from chronic heart failure. All the presentations of the two days can be found below.


Friday June 22nd

The second day of the Study Visit was spent in Rotterdam. In the morning, the guests had a chance to visit the elderly living Bergwegcomplex of Stichting Humanitas. This complex holds approximately 195 apartments for the elderly, small-scaled living and care facilities for people with Alzheimer’s and special day care facilities. Sikko Bakker, policy maker of the municipality of Rotterdam started the day with a short introduction about the Rotterdam plan of Assisted Living Areas. Directly following, the director of the complex André Jager outlined the philosophy and mission of the complex. A guided tour lead the participants through the complex and also into the surrounding neighbourhood. The neighbourhood centre provides an interesting example of participation of users in neighbourhood development.

After lunch in the central hall of the complex, the journey continued to the city centre of Rotterdam. The municipality organised a conference on  “Opportunities of assisted living areas and the incorporation of user needs in planning and implementation”. A particularly important moment during the conference was the signing of a contract, between the municipality of Rotterdam and TNO. The contract holds that the municipality of Rotterdam and TNO will cooperate to accomplish “neighbourhoods for living in vitality”. TNO is the knowledge partner in this cooperation.

innovage presentation

After a final drink in Rotterdam, most of the guests returned to Schiphol airport. TNO looks back on a valuable and inspiring visit!


Here you can find the presentations that were held during the Study Visit:




Add new comment