KTN's online platform helps you to make the connections you need


The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has refreshed its online platform to intelligently connect you to relevant events, funding, thought pieces and specialist staff to help your business innovate and grow.

You can discover content using your area of interest, from Digital Creative to transport; from space to health – all major UK economic sectors are covered. Once you have selected your interests, using our intelligent tagging system, we will then display rich and relevant content related to your area, often from surprising sources.

An example might be new satellite technology from the space sector that is applicable in the agri-food sector. KTN-UK.co.uk will help you form these unusual and valuable connections.

All content on the platform has been carefully curated by our team of innovation specialists – not by an automated algorithm – so you can be confident that KTN is connecting you to the most relevant cutting-edge information.


The move also marks a closer alignment with our main funder, Innovate UK , with the website branding making a clear visual link. Knowledge Transfer Network is Innovate UK's innovation network partner, and also works with other funders to provide innovation networking services and fulfil our mission to drive UK growth.

We link new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors. From agri-food to autonomous systems and from energy to design, KTN combines expertise in all sectors with the ability to cross boundaries. Connecting with KTN can lead to potential partners, horizon-expanding events and innovation insights relevant to your needs.

Visit our people pages to connect directly with expertise in your sector.

Visit the KTN refreshed online platfom here


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Enhancing the User Experience Through Better Data and Design

Tom Fiddian describes how digital services can be improved through more effective use of both data and design

It has become a truism of technology gurus and business commentators that the competitive future of businesses depends on how effectively they can produce, capture and use data. As a recent article in Wired Magazine starkly put it: “data is the new oil of the digital economy”. This is increasingly the case across both the private and public sectors. Whether it is health promotion interventions, audience development programmes or marketing campaigns, key strategic decisions and investments are being under-pinned by the insights gleaned from consumer and personal data.

In retail this is particularly the case, even for those sectors once considered relatively immune to digital technologies. Many were doubtful as to whether the fashion retail experience could ever be successfully replicated on screen, but today as many as 70% of internet users buy clothing online, and these e-commerce sites are increasingly being powered by sophisticated algorithms and data analytics. As Graham Cooke, chief executive of Qubit, which advises fashion and e-commerce businesses put it at a recent KTN seminar: “Data is just the digital representation of our customers. The question of ‘what’s our data strategy’ is really ‘what’s our customer strategy’?”

Of course, generating the data is only the starting point. For retail and other customer-facing businesses, it is possible to produce huge amounts of data, whether through in-store interactions or else those taking place over a number of digital channels. The real challenge is how to best make use of it and crucially this means not just processing the data, and turning information into knowledge and consumer insight, but also to provide the basis for personalised, high-quality user experience.

Many of the innovation challenges are therefore for designers as much as for data scientists. Or rather, what will be required are multi-disciplinary teams that can integrate the production and analysis of data into well-designed, secure and personalised experiences. This will mean applying skills and expertise not just in software engineering and analytics but also in such as areas as human centred design, graphical interfaces, data visualisation, animation and audio-visual production. Furthermore, as the distinction between the online and physical experience for consumers become increasingly blurred, so there will also be a need for expertise in sensors, beacons and Internet of Things devices.

The UK, with established strengths in digital technology and e-business strategy, but also in creative media and design, is well placed to lead in the development of products, services, applications and businesses which enrich and improve the user and consumer experience in a wide range of sectors. But this will only happen if both creative and technology businesses seize the initiative, collaborate and become involved from an early stage.

It is for this reason that Innovate UK is launching two forthcoming competitions intended to help businesses to do just this.  Through Enhancing user experience using personal data, it is investing up to £2m in feasibility studies aimed at improving the user experience in the digital economy, while Enhancing user experience in retail will provide up to £4m in collaborative research and development projects focused on the user experience in retail. Together, these two competitions represent significant support and investment in boosting the competitive advantage and growth of UK digital economy businesses.

Tom Fiddian (@tomfiddianis a Lead Technologist in Digital Experience at Innovate UK


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