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Learn more about the opportunities for design in innovation across a wide range of business sectors

Leading businesses are increasingly aware of design’s role in delivering innovative approaches to today’s economic and societal challenges, including: growing future cities, supporting wellbeing in an ageing population, effectively exploiting digital technologies, such as developing human-centred wearable technology, and resource efficient energy supplies. 

The most successful companies are able to use design strategically, making it integral to the continuous renewal of their core business concepts. They use design as a means of encouraging innovation, fusing it with their key objectives in order that it is embedded within every stage of development.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is hosting a series of industry workshops on 2 July 2015 to accompany the New Designers 30th anniversary exhibition of graduating designers from across the UK. These interactive workshops offer an exciting forum for industry, funders and university tutors to come together and learn more about the opportunities for design in innovation across a wide range of business sectors. In addition to the industry workshops, KTN is this year widening its involvement in New Designers to expose the UK’s amazing young creative talent to a broader mix of industrialists, entrepreneurs and investors.

Established by Innovate UK, KTN is the UK’s innovation network – we help grow the UK economy by building better links between science, creativity and business to speed up innovation, solve problems and find markets for new ideas. Supporting business to grow by utilising design in innovation is a key priority for Innovate UK and KTN. 

We therefore invite you to attend a workshop of your choice and stay on afterwards to receive free access to the whole of the New Designers exhibition in order to meet, be inspired by, recruit or invest in the next generation of wealth creators.


Register your place at an individual workshop below


10.00 - 10.45 - The Role of Design in Grant Funding Applications – An Applied Perspective

Design is fundamental to the development and commercialisation of applied technologies including electronic systems, photonics, sensor systems, space applications and ICT. This session will introduce a toolkit designed to help companies secure related grant funding from the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK.


11.00 - 11.45 - Powering Up Your Design Senses

Intrigued by SMART wearables, sensors on the body and sensors for homes, transport, healthcare or environments? Join KTN experts Steve Morris and Liqun Yang in exploring how design can assist industry to utilise sensor and energy-harvesting technologies in wearables, textiles, civil engineering projects, transport and healthcare. The workshop will focus opportunities to make our lives more connected, exciting and energy-efficient. 


12.00 - 12.45 - Designing the Future of Wearable Technology Today

In order to design the future of wearables today, we need to create the conditions for cross-innovation through understanding challenges and opportunities within diverse sectors. This interactive workshop will discuss current trends and the future of cutting edge wearable technologies, as well as explore the potential for new application of wearables across a broad range of sectors.


13.00 - 13.45 - Urban Design for Future Lifestyles and Human Behaviours: Making our Cityscapes People-Focused

Accelerating urbanization on a global scale is creating an array of contemporary environmental, physical and societal challenges related to the planning and design of roads and bridges, water and sewer systems, telecommunications networks, airports and subway lines, and buildings of all kinds. Join the KTN’s Energy, Transport and Built Environment teams for an interactive discussion about how we can find new new ways of delivering infrastructure solutions for cities of the future, with a specific focus on people and interconnected systems.


14.00 - 14.45 - Design4Life: How the new trends in health, food and biotech are changing our lives

The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, with the size of the ageing demographic expected to swell from 8% presently to 20% of the total population. All of this is creating unprecedented challenges in the management of healthcare, food, water and natural resources. Join the KTN's Health, Food and Biotechnology teams to to learn how design is being used to tackle these global challenges as well as meet some of the UK's most innovative companies working in these areas.


15:00 - 15.45 - Designing our future -  tutors discussion with the Design Council

A panel discussion and open forum examining the future of design and the skills that designers will need to compete.  Design Council’s recent 'Designing our Future' research will be presented to inform the discussion. By invitation only.


16:00 - 17:00 - Funding and Finance Workshop

This workshop will discus and contrast the investment environment between the UK golden triangle (Cambridge, Oxford, London) and the Boston area, USA. By invitation only.

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Webinar on funding opportunities for Industrial Biotech & SynBio

This KTN webinar provided an update on the upcoming funding opportunities for industrial biotechnology & synthetic biology, with particular focus on the remit of each competition and where applications are likely to fit best. 

Download the slide deck >>

Watch the webinar recording >>

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