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 ICT 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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Energy efficient computing: moving up the climate change to-do list

The UN climate change talks, taking place in Paris this week, are an opportunity for negotiators from 195 countries to hammer out a comprehensive deal to curb global warning. Yet, how much of their discussion centres on the impact of computing? It’s exponential growth has a corresponding impact on energy consumption.  
 
Experts at a recent Innovation Leaders Forum in Barcelona were in accord that progress in technology, business, social models and policy are all needed for real climate action. 
 
Alongside recommendations including phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in rich countries, an expiry date on coal (earlier this month the UK became the first big economy to announce a retirement year - 2025 - for coal-powered plants), a corporate carbon tax, climate teaching, public sector reform and investment in research, they also listed energy efficient computing.   
 
Not enough people realise that manipulating massive amounts of data is not energy efficient and big data analysis has become the staple of the internet age. While the amount of data computer users produce is exploding, the pace of computing performance has slowed.
 
Much of the energy used by today's computers is expended moving data between memory and their central processors. As information and communication technologies are now embedded in all industries, data centres - and inefficient computers - consume more and more electricity. 
 
Multidisciplinary solutions
 
Some researchers are finding that they need to work with others in dissimilar fields in order to optimise their own prospects. "It's an exciting time for genomics researchers to vastly transform their workflows by leveraging advanced networking and computing technologies, says Kuang-Ching "KC" Wang, associate professor in electrical and computer engineering and also networking chief technology officer at Clemson University in the US. “But to get all these technologies working together in the right way requires complex engineering. And that's why we are encouraging genomics researchers to collaborate with their local IT resources, which include IT engineers and computer scientists. This kind of cross-discipline collaboration is reflecting the national research trends.”
 
In their recently published paper titled "The Widening Gulf between Genomics Data Generation and Consumption: A Practical Guide to Big Data Transfer Technology," Wang and seven other co-authors discus the careful planning and engineering required to move and manage big data at the speeds needed for high-throughput science.
 
Performance improvements today are limited by energy inefficiencies that result in computing systems overheating and experiencing thermal management issues. So energy efficiency is vital to improving computing performance at all levels - from  devices and transistors to large information technology systems, and from small sensors at the edge of the Internet of Things to large data centres in cloud and supercomputing systems.
 
Fundamental research on hardware performance, complex system architectures, and new memory/storage technologies can help to discover new ways to achieve energy-efficient computing, and ground-breaking techniques are called for. 
 
Neural Architectures
 
In October, the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a nanotechnology-inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing. The Grand Challenge calls for new approaches to produce computing systems capable of operating with the efficiency of the human brain.
 
The image above, designed by Emmett McQuinn, a hardware engineer at IBM, was inspired by the neural architecture of a macaque brain, this ghostly neon swirl is the wiring diagram for a new kind of computer that, by some definitions, may soon be able to think. 
 
The international climate change negotiations entering their second and final week encompass a vast and complicated array of political, economic and legal questions. In the end it all boils down to trust and money. In a major breakthrough, 184 governments have already submitted plans detailing how they will cut their domestic emissions after 2020. That’s also the year that an estimated 44 zettabytes of data will be created on an annual basis, according to a 2014 International Data Corporation study. Let’s hope that this is factored into govermental plans.
 
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