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Founded in 2015, Brightlands Materials Center (BMC) is a shared innovation centre of TNO and the province of Limburg. The research centre is working on new sustainable products, applications, and technologies in the field of plastics. The centre has an annual turnover of around 7.5 million euros and is connected to 38 FTE. Research is conducted across three programmes: Sustainable Buildings, Sustainable Mobility, and Circular Packaging. For the built environment, coatings and foils are being developed for glass to regulate the heat from sunlight. Within the theme of mobility, BMC is working on lightweight materials consisting of thermoplastic composites (including, among others, advanced continuous fibre printed parts and hybrid composites) and the recycling of such products.Recycling design and the use of recycled products are important themes within the Circular Packaging programme.  The centre is housed at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, where, in collaboration with the business community and other knowledge institutions, work is being done to create a sustainable future using innovative material solutions. At the centre, we’re working on game-changing developments relevant to society. Work usually comes in the shape of direct assignments for industry or multiannual and multiclient research and development projects. Following changes in the current board of directors, the partners are looking for one new managing director to become BMC’s sole leader. The managing director will be recruited by TNO. Functionally, he or she will report to the BMC board; hierarchically, to the Unit Director Circular Economy and Environment (who is also part of the BMC board).


You hold final responsibility for the continued success of BMC, in your role ensuring its continuity, innovative power, and impact.

Your added value is your capacity to respond to market and societal developments, establish the strategic direction of BMC, and translate its direction into propositions for innovative developments. You’re responsible for setting up and developing roadmaps with their associated valorisation and marketing plans, annually updating and implementing BMC’s programme plans and annual plans (in which annual targets are documented). To achieve this, you lead the programme managers and make sure that the programmes are updated annually. Furthermore, you set the goals for the programme and the centre as a whole.

You report your progress to the BMC board at regular intervals. Together with the concerned research manager, you motivate and facilitate BMC’s employees in the execution of their tasks. You ensure BMC is clearly positioned within the field and are responsible for communication and the organising of events.

You’re a national and international figurehead for the centre, as well as within Brightlands Chemelot Campus’ ecosystem. You’re responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with key accounts and acquiring new questions and assignments. In collaboration with the business developers and programme managers, you create a strategy to develop the proposition for (potential) industrial partners, binding them to the centre in the process.

You’re the bridge between the market and the science/research, in this role enhancing the familiarity of the Brightlands Materials Center. You hold profit-loss final responsibility for the centre. You report to the BMC board. You maintain the relationship(s) with TNO’s market director(s), who provide a significant part of BMC’s financing, and with other TNO expertise groups, thereby increasing alignment with TNO’s broad knowledge base. In addition, you maintain the relationship with the province of Limburg and other knowledge institutions.

The centre and its management are in a transformation phase. TNO is also further expanding its presence on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. The hierarchical responsibility of this role may therefore be expanded further in the future.




Market experience, substantive expertise, and management skills come together in this versatile and dynamic role. Knowledge of and experience in the plastics industry is a must. Important is insight into how technological innovations can find their way into the value chain of plastic products.

For this role, BMC requires someone with extensive experience:  

  • Setting up and implementing strategies for innovation.
  • R&D and/or (technical) marketing in the plastics industry.
  • Relevant network in the plastics industry and SMEs.
  • Co-creation and acquisition of innovative and knowledge-intensive programmes.
  • Setting up and developing roadmaps with their associated knowledge, valorisation, and marketing plans, and developing and maintaining relationships with customers and partners.
  • The valorisation of intellectual property and knowledge through licences and spinoffs.
  • Developing and motivating a diverse team.
  • Both functionally and hierarchically managing knowledge workers in a matrix organisation in which market teams and expertise groups are constantly aligning.
  • Experience in the European, national, and regional work fields, both in relation to PPS and directly with SMEs and multinationals, with whom you create relevant alliances and large-scale, public-private collaborations.

And the following talents/skillsets:

  • You’re entrepreneurial and commercial, working together closely with customers and external partners (in co-creation, as a service provider, or initiator), anticipating potential future needs.
  • You have a deep understanding of the knowledge/innovation industry of materials/plastics and have had many years of relevant experiences in this domain.
  • Financial knowledge and experience. Experience with governmental incentive programmes for research is an advantage.
  • You’re able to achieve overarching goals by means of a project portfolio.
  • You’re capable of handling innovation and technology development at various maturity levels and product valorisations.
  • You have experience leading and inspiring groups, especially in an R&D environment.
  • You’re a connector, stimulating and concretising cooperation, both internally and externally.


Challenging and varied work with a real impact. And plenty of opportunities as, at TNO, you are in charge of shaping your career. In addition to a maximum gross annual wage of €114,000, you work in an extremely professional, innovative working environment in which colleagues – people who challenge you, inspire you, and are eager to learn from you – are leading experts in their field. Our state-of-the-art facilities exist to realise your vision. What you do at TNO matters. Impact changes things. Because with every innovation, you contribute to life in the future.


At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.


Please apply before December 16, 2021.  We aim to finalize the entire process within six weeks.The selection process may include a reference check.


Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Recruiter: Sandra Lemmens
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6-23967752

Hiring manager: Marinke Wijngaard
Phone number: 08886 62661

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Open application

We are always looking for talented people. If you are interested in working for Brightlands Materials Center, please contact us at:

Our application proces

You can apply via the job application button under the vacancy text. You will then be directed to the TNO web page where you can fill in the application form. You will receive an email to confirm receipt of your job application. Applications for scientific positions will be examined by scientific group leaders, application for business development will be examined by business people.

If you have applied for a position and you are invited for an interview, then we will organize a day program for you. During this day you will speak with different people, you will give a presentation about your recent work or final dissertation and you will receive a guided tour of the laboratories. Travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed. Within several days of your visit you will hear whether you have been offered a job.