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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Creative Innovation, Manufacturing and Business Models

From mass production to mass customisation or to others, from push to pull business models, new technologies in both content and product are empowering users/consumers to play an increasingly active role in the design of product and services and technology innovation more generally.


These and other related themes were explored in the inaugural Creative Innovation, Manufacturing and Business workshop, hosted by Exeter University on the 13th of July, which brought together entrepreneurs, businesses, government agencies, and academics to explore the pioneering research and practice bridging digital and physical innovation and examples of related business models.


While exploring technology drivers and projects; the essential theme of the day was the role of collaboration and interdisciplinary knowledge sharing as a driver to successful innovation around these new technology platforms.  These overall themes echoed many of the topics explored by the CIKTN in our portfolio of thematic Beacon for Innovation portfolio of projects.


Digital technologies, used in the design, creation, distribution and consumption of content, are now being combined with additive manufacturing as the basis for disruption of both the design industry and mass manufacturing /business model. Driving a convergence between our physical and digital worlds. This process of disruption may also be impacting on the traditional models of knowledge exchange as open innovation becomes increasing important as a driver to business innovation.


Open source, open innovation and open design have/ are moving onto the both the research and corporate landscape as key drivers to business innovation around new technologies and ways of collaborating.  Although each has a different value proposition, the key characteristics of openness are embodied in transparency and permeability across boundaries, which characterize the emergent companies such as RepRap, makerbot and innovation labs (Fab Lab/Hacker communities).


FabLabs and other types of open workshops/labs (University, corporate or community based) illustrate hybrid innovation models that combines principles of commons based peer collaboration and production with an enabling environment for development of new commercial business models and non commercial services. Particularly non-IP based business models that are now common in the open source software community.


Access to finance was also touched upon in both discussion and case studies illustrating that new forms of collaboration (crowd sourcing) using new platforms (social networking) acting to transform the traditional model for start up to secure investment. The need to adapt the existing IP framework to the emerging realities of physical and digital convergence has been identified in the recently completed Hargreaves review of the UK’s IP framework (2011).


New insights, models and methodologies are now at the cutting edge in exploring a changing relationship with empowered end users at their center. The new value chains and the empowered role of users and consumers provide both challenges and opportunities for the creative industries, investors, manufactuing and technology developers. Our key challenge is to find ways of curating the cross disciplinary ways of working (not least with the end users) that are becoming increasingly essential to succesful innovation and business development in these areas.

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