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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Open Funding calls from Innovate UK and H2020 - opportunities for medical biotechnology and advanced therapies

With Innovate UK’s delivery plan for this year comes a number of calls that are relevant to our sector - the MedBio team highlight here those we think that your organisation should be looking at in terms of opportunities for funding and collaboration- and we are here to help with taking these ideas further into proposals - please contact KTN to discuss.

The scope, structure and process for the calls differ from the previous ones so take a close look at the new documents and guidance on the innovate UK website. As before it is useful to discuss whether your project is in scope by taking this up with the Lead from Innovate UK for each particular call. We also highlight the call for the EU SME Instrument -this year call is well aligned for our sector 

Here is our digest of current opportunities:

1) BioMedical Catalyst open again - read more here -  though not specifically manufacturing aspects

2) Innovate UK OPEN funding competition- investing up to £15 million in innovative R&D projects

3) EU Funding - SME Instrument - Cell technologies in medical applications 

4) infocus funding award: women in innovation

5) UPDATED _ NOW CLOSED a future Innovate UK Materials and Manufacturing - “It is all about the process not about the product”
A fit then for biologics and advanced therapies- if it meets the scope of this cross sector call.   


•   Innovation in a manufacturing system, technology, process or business model. 

•   Innovation in materials development

•   The proposal will enable a step change in productivity and competitiveness for at least one UK SME involved in the project.

•   The focus of the project must be on manufacturing or materials developments that have cross-sector applicability.

Specific Competition Themes NEW -specific themes that Innovate UK are particularly interested in seeing applications for. For this competition specifically they would like to encourage applications featuring:

•   The novel application of a digital technology or approach to manufacturing or materials development (such as automation, modeling and simulation, data analysis)

•    Design for manufacture, use and end-of-life

The scope for health, life sciences and IB applications could include: improving formulation, bio-manufacturing process for biologics, manufacturing or innovation in biomaterials development. Here the cross-industry application is less relevant, but it is necessary to demonstrate that the process can be used to manufacture many products within the sector and represents a step change in productivity and competitiveness of an SME.

For more information got here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-competition-manufacturing-and-materials/manufacturing-and-materials-competition-brief#the-competition-scope

Who can apply: As per IUK Delivery Plan, the focus is to support SMEs – for this competition all projects must include at least one SME. If project cost are below £100K costs a SMEs can participate on their own or with partners; for projects above £100K the project needs to include at least 2 partners. Partners can be industry or academia.

Application Form: For enquiries the competitions helpline is 0300 321 4357, support@innovateuk.gov.uk.  The application form has changed slightly, still 10 questions. Please see webinar from minute 56 onwards.

Dates and deadlines

Competition opened

9 May 2016

Briefing events for applicants

View webinar recording of Manufacturing & Materials competition briefing

Registration deadline

Noon on 6 July 2016

Application deadline

Noon on 13 July 2016


2. Innovate UK Open funding competition is investing up to £15 million in innovative R&D projects. 

Who can apply? Open to SMEs and large companies -They can work individually or collaboratively (with businesses, research base and third sector). 

Projects may focus on:

•   feasibility studies which may include a proof of market

•   industrial research

•   experimental development

Innovate UK expect projects to last 6 to 36 months. They can range in size from total eligible project costs of £25,000 up to £1 million, depending on the type of project. Stream 1 is for projects under 12 months and under £100,000. Stream 2 is for projects over 12 months or over £100,000.

SCOPE: Proposals can be drawn from any technology, engineering or industrial area, including Innovate UK’s 4 priority sectors for growth- e.g. , health and life sciences. To be in scope, a proposal must:

•   demonstrate innovation leading to novel, new products, processes or services

•   articulate a clear and anticipated growth impact for the business(s) leading to a significant return on investment (ROI)

Priority will be given to proposals that are likely to lead to sustainable gains in productivity and/or access to new overseas markets through export led business growth.

Dates and deadlines

Competition opened

6 June 2016

Briefing events for applicants

View webinar recording of Open competition briefing

Registration deadline

Noon on 31 August 2016

Application deadline

Noon on 7 September 2016


3. EU Funding - SME Instrument - Cell technologies in medical applications 

The scope and funding available under the current rounds of the EU’s SME Instrument – are outlined below. Unusually for EU proposals, single company bids from for-profit SMEs are allowed, alongside consortia bids. There is a wealth of support available in the UK to support your company or organisation put forward an application. KTN can introduce you to the right people at the right point in time and discuss your outline idea for a proposal. For example, the UK-wide The Enterprise Europe Network can support on finding partners across the EU through their extensive network. There are also those supporting with specific information and on applications through the National Contact points. For this particular sector, KTN hosts a portal on the medicines manufacturing innovation landscape that highlights the sector activity in the UK. 

See our recent KTN webinar on the topic here, or join a webinar on 30th June with Innovate UK and CGTC 

The medical applications of cell technologies include diagnostics and biosensors; cell and gene therapy, tissue engineering, bio-artificial organs, haematology, immunotherapy, and vaccine and antibody production; predictive toxicology, synthetic biology, and modelling development and disease processes.

The Specific Challenge for cell technologies in medical applications includes:

·      Cell technologies include cell manufacturing (culture, multiplication, scale-up and automation), preservation, banking and transport; identification, cell sorting and delivery, imaging, tracking, process and quality control;

·      genetic engineering and gene editing; production of therapeutic biomolecules


Register for a webinar on this on 30th June here : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/funding-opportunities-for-smes-in-the-healthcare-sector-webinar-tickets-25719651169

4. infocus funding award: women in innovation -read more here


5. Coming soon….more info on H2020 calls in health, and Innovate UK calls in precision medicine and advanced therapies