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 Defence Security 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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Health Innovation Challenge Fund

This is a parallel funding partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health to stimulate the creation of innovative healthcare products, technologies and interventions and to facilitate their development for the benefit of patients in the NHS and beyond.

The Health Innovation Challenge Fund invites applicants to apply for funding in any of the areas of special interest listed below. 

Each £10m funding round will review and assess proposals from all themes.

Surgical technologies

We invite proposals for surgical solutions that will translate into safe and cost-effective practice in the NHS.

Applications are sought for innovative developments in instrumentation, implants and devices, software, materials, mechatronics and robotics - including, for example:

  • Technology that improves upon current devices or instruments to demonstrably and significantly improve patient outcomes, e.g. by increasing the accuracy and/or precision of a procedure
  • Instruments and methods that reduce the invasiveness of current surgical procedures
  • Computer-aided and computer-guided surgical methods and tools that improve decision support in the operating room
  • Pre-investigative, image-guided assessments and planning of surgical outcomes
  • Devices and methods for targeted treatment
  • Targeted delivery of therapeutic agents
  • Instruments and methods that reduce the invasiveness of current surgical procedures
  • Computer-aided and computer-guided surgical methods and tools that improve decision support in the operating room
  • Pre-investigative, image-guided assessments and planning of surgical outcomes
  • Devices and methods for targeted treatment (e.g. by RF or ultrasound)
  • Targeted delivery of therapeutic agents (e.g. using micro-carriers)

Innovative diagnostics

Whether it’s for the early detection of chronic diseases, or the targeted treatment of acute illnesses, advances in diagnostics can bring significant patient and economic benefit.Technologies that are faster, cheaper, more accurate, more portable, user friendly and easily interfaced/connected with healthcare systems have the potential to increase productivity, improve care pathways and reduce NHS workload.

We are particularly interested in products that could realize a step change in performance rather than substituting for an existing established technique. The solution may be situated in either a central reference laboratory, hospital setting or be portable and used at the point of care.

Applications are invited that:

  • Provide novel diagnostic tests or procedures which are more accurate, faster or more cost effective than their existing equivalents
  • Permit timely diagnosis of conditions where no test currently exists or where the present turnaround time is protracted
  • Enable both diagnosis and monitoring of the patient’s response to treatment
  • Offer solutions that can be readily integrated into and deployed widely across UK healthcare systems and beyond

Specifically out of scope for this call are:

  • Projects for monitoring chronic or long term illness
  • Telehealthcare and telemedicine
  • Biomarker discovery
  • Cancer diagnostics
  • Diagnostic tests thatutilise genome-wide exome sequencing or whole genome sequencing

Trauma and critical care medicine

Early recognition of symptoms, prompt diagnosis and effective intervention can have a significant benefit for critically ill patients, who frequently suffer long-term physical and psychological complications. Prolonged stays in the intensive care unit are associated with impaired quality of life, functional decline and increased morbidity, mortality, cost of care and length of hospital stay. In England the average annual cost of critical care beds is £1.3 billion and some 750,000 people are admitted to ICUs and HDUs annually (2010 figures).

The HICF is seeking early interventions and solutions that will tangibly improve the care and long-term outcomes of patients who experience acute illness or who have sustained severe injury or trauma. Proposals must demonstrate a clear plan on how the innovation will integrate into current pathways given the time pressures, complex logistics and multi-disciplines involved when responding to these emergencies. They should offer a step-change improvement of the immediate treatment, care, transport and recovery of patients.

Applications are invited that:

  • Focus on care given in either pre-hospital settings, emergency departments, trauma centres, intensive care units or high dependency units
  • Provide improved monitoring devices, innovative analytical or imaging modalities or rapid diagnostics
  • Develop non-invasive, point-of-care diagnostic devices to support early treatment intervention
  • Deliver better interventions for trauma or critically ill patients including e.g. optimising ventilation, pain control, more effective haemostatic therapies and devices, stabilisation of spinal, pelvic or limb injuries, better wound care and improved surgical and non-surgical treatments
  • Offer solutions that will enable quick profiling and stratification of patients to allow targeted therapy to slow down or reverse secondary injuries
  • Analysis of patterns in accumulated historical data and in newly acquired data to identify changes in a patient's condition in real time or provide early warning of any deterioration
  • Use of data fusion techniques to produce 'smart' alerts for patients in high-dependency areas who are monitored using static, wired or wireless physiological monitoring

Specifically out of scope for this call are:

  • Proposals focusing on hospital acquired infections
  • Non-critical care delivery following discharge from an ICU to a general ward

Repurposing of technologies and medicines

It is not always commercially attractive to repurpose devices or drugs even though important medical benefits could be gained. This HICF theme is intended to support and facilitate projects aiming to repurpose products in the wider pursuit of enhanced, affordable healthcare and which can result in early adoption by the NHS and other healthcare systems.

In addition, we recognise that cross fertilisation between different disciplines may often result in innovative new solutions to previously intractable problems. Thus we are also keen to receive proposals that will utilise technologies and learning from non-medical settings to develop novel devices and therapies.

Applications are invited that (a):

  • will repurpose approved medicinal products, medical devices, diagnostic tests or materials for use in new therapeutic indications or disease states
  • recombine or reuse pre-existing drugs or devices for various diseases, including rare or orphan ones
  • are anticipated to encounter a low regulatory hurdle and rapid progression to clinical use and adoption
  • undertake validation or safety studies or small pilot scale efficacy studies

or (b):

  • repurpose technologies developed within other sectors (for example, the automotive, aerospace, military or computer gaming sectors) for medical use

Biological therapeutics

Biological medicinal products (biologics) can be carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids or combinations of these substances, or they can be cell or tissue based products.In 2014, biologics accounted for 12% of novel medicine approvals by the FDA. Biologics, in particular, have provided an important advance in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer.

The HICF is seeking proposals for ground breaking biological therapies. For example, these could include:

  • Therapeutic proteins for treating immune disorders, infections and other diseases. This may include, but is not limited to, bi-specific monoclonal antibodies, multi-specific fusion proteins, peptides, antibody conjugates, synthetic antibodies, peptide aptamers
  • DNA, RNA or microRNA based technology including gene therapies and antisense therapies
  • Cell based therapies
  • Immunotherapies

Specifically out of scope for this call are:

  • Biologics used to prevent or diagnose disease
  • Tissue engineering based regenerative therapies

Find out more here