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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Failing to harness young digital talent comes at a cost

Research, released last week by O2, finds that the unused digital skills of over 1m unemployed young people are worth around £6.7bn to UK businesses. 

A big proportion of our “digital natives” are leaving school armed with at least one relevant skill - be it web design, social media or coding. Hackathons, sophisticated computer games like Minecraft, social media platforms and Maker Fairs have grown up to exploit these skills, where business has failed to capitalise on a hugely valuable creative pool.  

Commenting on the report’s findings, O2 Telefónica UK CEO Ronan Dunne said: 

“We know that economic growth depends on the digital economy. We also know that today’s youth has grown up in a digital world, with no knowledge of an age before the internet. Young people have in abundance the native skills we need to help pull us out of recession, yet they are at risk of becoming a lost generation”.

O2 has taken up the baton and is putting 3,000 young people through bite size sessions where they can try their hand at digital technology activities. Dunne called on British businesses to follow the company’s lead:

“Over three-quarters of businesses acknowledge that young people have digital skills in abundance,” he said.  But fewer than one quarter are planning to offer a first-time job, or an on-the-job training role, to a young person in the coming months”.

“All businesses, big and small, need to take some responsibility for getting young people into work. But this is more than just a numbers game. Rather, it’s about providing quality work experience, mentoring opportunities, internships or apprenticeships. We can all play our part. Undoubtedly, those businesses that do the legwork now will win out in the future. And that means looking to young people for whom digital literacy is in their DNA. Overlook or undervalue this generation at your peril”.

The most compelling case for including the young - and as early as possible - is that they are the future designers and beneficiaries of the apps and services which will grow the digital economy. In this context, connecting today’s businesses to young people, becomes critical, if we want to capitalise on the insights and skills which will drive tomorrow’s innovation.

Education Secretary, Michael Gove, talking about the revised study of ICT and computer science in UK schools has spoken about a need for “the maximum level of innovation at school level in the development of content in these areas.” Greater industry and employer involvement in schools – whether formally or informally – would be a very effective way to achieve this.

Outside the classroom, enthusiasm for technology and design is already there. So involving the young is simply a matter of finding the appropriate ways and methods. They don't need guidance, but they do need support and opportunities to work, develop, research and design their own future.

Watch this space for future ICT KTN and IoT SIG events and initiatives in this area. 

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