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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Data Visualisation: Making Information Profitable

This post is submitted by Rachel Jones, Innovation Associate for the Creative Industries KTN.

As we are increasingly being told, we are now in the era of Big Data. Advances in computational power and software tools have meant that unprecedented amounts of digital information, whether held in databases or more unstructured forms, are now being captured, stored and used. The potential applications, from tracking the spread of disease through to customer profiling, have excited (and also worried) the most senior levels of business and government.

It is one of the mantras of tech companies and industry commentators that there is little point in having data unless you can analyse it. Unless you can apply the correct statistical analysis and powerful algorithms, then its value remains locked. Businesses and organisations around the world are collecting data, gigabytes and gigabytes of it, but they don’t necessarily understand what it says. Turning information into knowledge is one of the great challenges of the digital economy.

What is less often appreciated is that the challenge actually goes further than this, and that there is little point in analysing data unless you can also describe and present it. As a rule, Big Data does not get seamlessly integrated into automated decision-making. This will increasingly happen, but it will remain the case that big data’s principal value lies in how it can inform strategic thinking rather than real-time processes, for instance in marketing campaigns, public health interventions, energy reduction initiatives and audience development programmes. As such, data needs to be presented, or visualised, in a way which executive decision makers, policy officers and budget holders can easily understand and act upon.

Many of the innovation challenges around Big Data are therefore for designers as much as for software engineers. In order to build commercially successful applications, skills and expertise need to be applied in such as areas as human centred design, graphical interfaces, interactive media, animation and audio-visual production. The UK, with a wealth of talent in its creative industries, and especially design, is therefore in a strong position to lead in the development of world-beating Big Data products – but only if creative businesses seize the initiative, and get involved from an early stage.

In order to help businesses meet the opportunities around Big Data, the Technology Strategy Board will be launching a competition on Data Exploration in the early part of 2014. In the run-up to this, on 10th October the Design Special Interest Group is running an event looking at how data visualisation can become a more integral part of the development process in Big Data applications across a wide range of sectors. Register your interest for the workshop here.


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