The purpose of the TKIs is to assemble excellent public-private partnerships in top sectors in the field of research and innovation. In doing this, a consistency and synergy will be achieved in accomplishments in research and innovation with economic and social priorities. In addition, TKIs contribute to the increase of efficiency and effectiveness of research and development by (strategic) collaboration between companies, knowledge institutions and government. The expectation is that TKIs will lead to more excellent research and significant innovative products and processes, and will also ensure a rapid distribution of knowledge within the business world by using a position of research that is demand-driven. Naturally, TKIs are also central in leading international research and the establishing of an active connection with internationals themes and resources (eg Horizon 2020).
TKIs are at the heart of innovation contracts and are structural contexts in which several parties work together on the entire knowledge value chain from fundamental and applied research to valorisation and innovation. With TKIs, which are set by the top teams, the public-private partnerships in the top sectors obtain their structural shapes. The foundation of TKIs is determined by the commitment (both financial as ‘in kind’) of the parties involved, including SMEs.
It should not be forgotten that Innovations are all too often developed at the intersections of sectors, respectively by applying knowledge and concepts from one sector to another. If we translate this to the design of the TKIs within the energy top sector and outside of the energy top sector, this means that success can only be realized if the agenda of the various TKIs provides both space and an open mind towards cross-sectorial initiatives. Extra emphasis would have to be put on the connection with the ICT top sector.