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 Electronics, Sensors, Photonics 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


« go back

Solar Electricity to create an industry employing 150,000 in the UK

As the BBC recognised solar electricity as a significant technology (see my earlier blog), so a major opportunity for Solar Electricity to create wealth and jobs whilst at the same time significantly lowering the UK’s Carbon Footprint was confirmed at a workshop organised by the Electronics, Sensors and Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network and the Photonics Leadership Group last month.


Solar Electricity (also known as Photovoltaics) has been the subject of research for decades but only recently has the science come together with the business opportunity created by the newly available Feed In Tariff (FiT) in the UK. The meeting of experts in the field concluded that the UK was in an excellent position to benefit from this convergence since the country already has significant activity but with most of the production currently being exported.


The UK has major companies involved in the production of solar panels themselves, raw materials for the solar cells, films and coatings that are used in the industry as well as an even more fundamental part – the special glass itself. Almost all of this is exported to other countries that have an established FiT. As the world increasingly starts to use Solar Electricity there is already a world shortage of capacity and this creates a real opportunity for the UK to invest and prosper in an activity that fits the UK profile well – high technology with a strong local use and with a global market available. Overall there are in excess of 60 companies in the UK in all layers of this industry


Major business opportunities exist in the whole supply chain from materials, to panel assembly, to installation. One particular need is for very reliable Inverters (the box of electronics that converts the DC electricity from the solar panels to 240 volts AC for the Grid - part of the balance of systems [BOS]). These need to match the expected 20 to 30 year lifetime of the solar cells and are in any case one of the key parts of the whole system. The variable nature of UK weather places considerable demands on systems that have been designed for slowly changing solar loads.


By analogy with the situation in Germany, where the FiT was put in place 7 years ago, the meeting concluded that the UK could create a total supply chain that would be able to install 4Gigawatts (GW) of peak generating capacity a year by 2016 and would employ 150,000 people at that time. In addition, building up that capability would give excellent export opportunities in a market that is growing at 40% per year.


To put that amount of generation in context: 4GW per year over 20 years would give 80GW (peak output) of installed capacity which could provide 20% of the total electricity needed in the country. This meets the target set by the Government for renewables at that time and represents a reduction in annual CO2 of 13 million Tonnes


It was also confirmed that the levels of solar energy at the average latitude of the UK were sufficient to meet these targets. The main challenge was in fact not seen to be related to the science or engineering but to the build-up of the level of activity required both in terms of reaching an adequate volume of manufacturing and of finding and training a large enough workforce.


The final report from the workshop, with its recommendations, will be published early in November and will be available for download on the _connect web site.


No comments yet. Be the first.

Most read articles

EPIC discusses UK photonics industry support at Photonex

On 16 October 2013, Carlos Lee, Director General of the European Photonics Industry...

Electret Energy Harvester

The Electret Energy Harvester is new and exciting technology promoted by the Electret...

Analysis for Innovators - £6.5m Funding

Analysis for Innovators is a new funding programme that targets competitiveness and...