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.

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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.

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IoT Guest Post No. 9: 'Design and the Internet of Things' by Will Pearson

 

The way into and the way out of design was never all that clear-cut, but it’s becoming more difficult still. A major challenge traditionally has been about the way that clients of design products and services interacted with the often entirely human face of the design apparatchik. In other words, it was still very much about human beings talking to other human beings. Technology was a vastly interesting, exciting and often frustrating canvas that people painted on in various ways. This included developing broadcast tools and platforms, every kind of print media, and immersive online virtual worlds in which, with very human desires and agency, someone might get lost.

 

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In the evolution of this world, in between the floating point numbers which fallaciously demarcate the movement between versions and network connectivity (1.0, 2.0, 3.0…) we woke up one morning to realise that the typical street down which we walk on a daily basis was suddenly talking to us, sending out data worth on average five tweets worth of data, and our electrical items were developing lives of their own, and were joining us on the web as the spoor of pattern matching and algorithmic exercise.

 

But where was design?

 

It was where design has usually been, biting hard at the edges and falling forward fast (as Matt Locke, then at the BBC Future Media team, famously observed in talks about commissioning and independent producers in the interactive space). It is all around us, all the time, but needs guides and shepherds (a word I have heard today at the BBC in Media Quays in Salford) to be fully contextualised and appreciated for the role it plays. We all understand the value of design it seems, when holding it in our hands, mobile or tablet, or accessory from a boutique fashion store. But it still falls to story tellers to plot the points on a map and show us the waves and plateaus that characterise popular design history.

 

The sheer scale of the fleets of devices and potential interoperability I detect scares even the most hardened and able designers. The European document talks of the Metamorphosis of Objects. What does this translate as in the mind of a designer. How do you uncover meaningful connections through design when it seems as all the objects obey an impulse to connect that is insatiable and ruthless. Where is the syntax, where is the grammar? In their classic and essential text on social semiotics of visual design, The Grammar of Visual Design, Gunther Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen cogently observe that the taxonomy of visual design is different that what is presented through textual and auditory routes: that what can be communicated by a photograph is perhaps impossible to replicate with a series of sentences, and vice versa. Objects in a networked world have not assembled into these syntactic patterns and so we observe linguistic ineptitude that is really quite unavoidable. This is why I believe design competitions such as that organised by the Technology Strategy Board are valuable right now: both from the point of view of financial investment and business modelling of course, but also for the challenges to language that it presents through needing to employ language, metaphor, speculation and other tools in pursuing what for some remains tantalisingly diffuse and out of reach.

 

Will Pearson is currently Director of Technology at Ravensbourne. He is an interaction designer, researcher and developer and strategist and leader within the cultural and creative industries. His background has included being the owner/creator of a small mobile content development company, specialising in inclusively designed, art-led and interactive content for mobile phones. He has a long background working both in education and in project management for large arts/science/technology projects. Previously, he has spent time lecturing on technology and visual impairment at UK universities, supporting students around the UK to gain primary access to the curriculum and advising non-governmental organisations and working in a development context, such as time spent advising the Ministry of Education in Ghana.

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