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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In The Spotlight: getitmade.com – easing the transition from prototype to product

get it made manAs many a budding innovator knows, there is a huge gap between a prototype and a market-ready product. Beside the many engineering issues, funding can be a breaking point for any project. The company www.getitmade.com uniquely sets out to help solve that problem by creating a pledge bank for future products that utilises social networks to build a critical mass of pre-orders, which allows the product to be sent into production.

The company was founded by Rob Dobson and Nick Ager – two entrepreneurs who became frustrated by the difficulty of taking their prototypes into production. Having both successfully founded previous companies they became convinced that there must be a simpler way of getting new products to market.

Many great ideas may stumble at the production stage, though a good example of one that broke through is the ubiquitous Brompton folding bicycle. The inventor Andrew Richie was turned away by existing bicycle manufacturers who said there was no market for his folding bicycle. The banks also believed the project to be commercially unviable and declined to fund. Richie overcame these obstacles by pre-selling bicycles to his friends and family. 

It is this same kind of pre-selling model that getitmade uses to launch innovative projects with the added dimension of harnessing the reach of online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to help lots of other innovators finance taking their products from prototype into production. 

Providing innovators with not only the funding to develop ideas but also product market testing, access to design communities and initial customer feedback – each stage assists to guarantee overall launch success. A definitive element within the process is that no money changes hands unless the product pre-sales reach production level and it goes into manufacturing. From a consumer's point of view the site also offers the advantage of providing them with the first pickings of new cutting edge products before they are made available in the shops. 

getitmade logoIf you are in Newcastle next month getitmade are exhibiting at Maker Faire www.makerfaireuk.com on 12-13 March. The website also has details about a competition for innovators – a range of cash prizes and a MacBook Air to be won.
 

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