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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Help make the tech user experience better!

This guest post is submitted by Jonathan Mitchener, Lead Technologist ICT, Innovate UK.
 
I’m sure we have all used computer based technology but felt the overall experience is lacking and left us dissatisfied?  My latest opportunity for funding tries to address a number of aspects of improving this: "User Experience (UX) Feasibility Studies – Better interactions between people and machines”.  My ICT programmes at Innovate UK focus not on the application of software innovation to a particular sector or vertical, but rather on computer science inspired technology innovation which could benefit a whole range of application areas.  Thus in contrast to many of our other Innovate UK programmes, mine are relatively application agnostic. Note this doesn’t imply that applicants should ignore market opportunities for their idea.
 
I believe there is significant scope in the UK, particularly for SME’s to innovate in a number of UX technology areas.  The first is sensing which through novel software allows machines to understand the human user better.  This sensing could range from gesture and eye tracking at one end of the scale to emotion sensing and brain signal understanding or control at the other.  Essentially this part is about using information about the state of the user and what they are doing to modify or direct the user experience.   The second area, I call ‘modal’, is about improving the user experience when the human user is interacting in a particular scenario; my two examples are mobile and wearables.  In both of these situations, the user experience is often sub-optimal, partly because interacting on the move or with devices you wear or are implanted is relatively new and we understand less about it.   The third area crosses over between my ICT sub themes of UX and Software Engineering and is about how to build better software and test it to help improve UX.   This might include working on new tools and methods to assist software creators to focus on UX and/or involving other disciplines from outside the traditional software space to improve UX.  Such disciplines might include artists, psychologists, anthropologists etc.  I am looking for innovation that improves the overall design and experience of interaction, not specific user interface design.  If applying within the multi-disciplinary scope area, you must describe clearly how the methodology is novel and how the impact will be evaluated.  
 
So across one or more of these areas I am looking for innovative submissions.   I am keen that submissions take users beyond the simple keyboard, mouse and screen tradition in ways that are natural, intuitive and usable.  Note that this is a feasibility competition and so you must be testing the feasibility of some aspect of the technology or approach; I am looking for early stage technically risky project ideas where some mitigation for the risks is given.  The topics described here are just examples of the scope of the competition.  
 
This is an opportunity for Micro, Small and Medium sized (by EU definition) companies only who may optionally choose whether or not to collaborate with one other partner organisation, that may be an SME or academic/research partner.  If the area of UX sounds good, but you are not looking to do earlier stage feasibility type work, there is another parallel UX themed opportunity open within our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme where a company can work with a university resource to transfer knowledge and skills into their organisation.  
 
If you are interested in applying please do read the competition brochures and guidance available on the Innovate UK website for applicants and preferably watch the recorded briefing event linked from there.   The deadlines for registering interest and submitting an application are clearly given.
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