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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Location-based Services: Where It's At

Tom Fiddian from the Technology Strategy Board outlines the innovation and funding opportunities around location-based services

 

In its short history, the digital economy has generated countless trends, buzz words and crazes, from content portals, viral marketing and virtual communities, through to social media and big data. But one of the latest has the potential to be more enduring than many. Location-based services (any information, entertainment, or transactional service available on a mobile device, and which makes use of the user’s geographical position) is by no means a new concept – the term was first used more than ten years ago – but in 2014 it seems to have come of age.

This is certainly the case in the UK, which is in a particularly strong position to grow the location-based services market. It has high levels of consumer readiness, with the latest figures from Ofcom suggesting that 40% of individuals use their mobile phone to access the internet, coupled with established strengths in the technologies underpinning such services: more than half of the world’s GPS devices are designed in the UK, and the country is a world leader in specialist geo-location systems, used in agriculture and construction.

Over the course of the next few years there are going to be significant improvements in the accuracy and timeliness of geo-location data. Location accuracy will be reduced to less than two meters and there will be better coverage in town centres where tall buildings encroach on the visibility of the sky. These improvements will lead to far greater opportunities in the location based services sector, going beyond basic navigation.

Although the market opportunity and technological infrastructure are coming into place, it will need more than this for successful new services to emerge. There are still important challenges that need to be overcome. Some of these are regulatory – there are understandably concerns around privacy and data use, while business strategies around proprietary systems, licensing and inter-operability will also be a factor.

But there also innovation challenges. These are not so much around the underlying telecommunications or systems software, but rather around design and development. It is at this point that the involvement of the creative industries will be crucial. As with all commercial endeavours, the defining factor in the success of location-based services will not just be whether they are technically feasible, but how well they meet customer demands and the quality with which they are delivered. This will require expertise in user-centred design, accessibility, strong interface design and compelling audio-visual content.

It is for this reason that the Creative Industries KTN has worked closely with the Technology Strategy Board on its forthcoming Location-based services Competition. Worth £5million in total, and launching in April 2014, the Competition will provide digital and creative businesses the opportunity to experiment and innovate, to experiment with new ideas and technologies, and to develop the products and services that will shape this exciting new market.
 

Tom Fiddian (@tomfiddian) is Lead Technologist for Design in the Digital Economy at the Technology Strategy Board. You can find out more information about Location-based Services and other forthcoming Competitions at https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/creativektn/creative-industries-funding-programme-2013-14

 

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