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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Understanding the sustainable in digital - a necessary growth model strategy for the CIs

From the many takeaways provided by the CIKTN Beacon Project on Sustainability final report, there are three that linked together communicate an unfolding narrative: 1) the CIs are presently failing to lead on sustainable innovation but 2) there is evidence to suggest that, as serial innovators, they are currently finding ways to convert the big sustainability challenges facing society into innovation opportunities and 3) fact - building environmental policies into the business plan makes good business sense. Embracing the possibilities presented by the new technologies will go some way to enabling the CIs to catch up with the progress in this area already achieved by the new generation of entrepreneurs who make up the clean-tech revolution.

 

 

Yet to utilise effectively the sustainable potential of digital will also clearly require an informed understanding of the points in question prior to any policy implementation. Cloud computing, for example, might appear at face value to be beneficial for the environment - less need for travel. Yet with the energy consumption of the increasingly cathedral-like data storage centres set to double by 2020, a new footprint begins to replace the old one. The environmental activist network Greenpeace is presently exhorting the Silicon Valley big players to be mindful.

 

One UK initiative currently in place to research key questions behind digital sustainability issues within the news and media sector is the Sympact project - a collaboration between Bristol University and Guardian News and Media (GNM) and the University of Surrey Centre for Environmental Strategy. Through building models of different future scenarios they are aiming to forecast how far web & digital transformations (high speed digital printing, e-readers, personalisation technologies, mobile phone readable 2-D barcodes etc.) of the news media and publishing industries will decrease or increase energy requirements over the course of the next decade. Their findings will then be used to inform GNM's long-term strategy making process.

 

In practical terms the project will be seeking to find answers to a series of empirical questions designed to enable meaningful comparisons between the environmental footprints of traditional methods of news production with those of the new technologies. In his recent Guardian feature Dr Chris Preist, a member of Sympact's research team, provides some examples examples of the types of questions they are investigating: 'Is buying a newspaper more or less efficient than accessing a number of articles on-line?'... What will be the energy consumption attached to increased accessing of video and audio files?...'Will the number of devices people expect to have proliferate, as they purchase separate home PCs, laptops, tablets and eReaders, or will a small number of devices provide all the functionality people need?'

 

Do such questions presently lend themselves to any kind of tentative response?  What kinds of similar future-planning questions could other CI sectors be asking? Your thoughts and comments welcome.

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