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 sustainability 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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Innovation as an Enabler for Sustainable Development in the Rail Industry

Innovation as an enabler

There is now a widespread recognition in the rail industry that innovation is a key enabler for the long-term sustainability of the railways in Great Britain, particularly in terms of economic sustainability. Whilst some progress has been made in bringing innovative technical solutions into the railway, focusing innovation efforts on technology alone will not be enough to achieve the level of cost reduction required to make the rail industry sustainable in the longer term.

The rail industry today is already a far different beast to that which it was only a few years ago.  See for example the recent RIA conferences on innovation in rail,  RIA's flagship unlocking innovation in rail scheme, the RSSB's research into the enablers of innovation in rail, the new RIA/RSSB award for innovation, and the overwhelming response to the recent Technology Strategy Board competition Accelerating Innovation in Rail for a small selection of how the innovation landscape in rail is changing radically.

New paper outlines innovation for rail in the future

A recent paper by Francis How (Railway Industry Association) and Axel Kappeler (Arthur D. Little) supports and builds on an emerging consensus that in order to achieve a sustainable railway, the industry needs to adopt a more sophisticated and broader approach to innovation.

It is fair to say that there is within the industry a widespread recognition that innovation is just as important in the rail sector as in any other, and that it is a key enabler for the long-term sustainability of the railways. Such recognition simply did not exist four years ago. 


The authors outline how this approach to innovation will involve:

  • the application of innovative thinking to operating processes and business models as well as to technology;
  • making innovation a central feature of the way we do business; and
  • moving to a position where innovation effort is aligned so as to deliver systemic benefits across and beyond the GB rail sector. 

In addition, the paper includes 

  • a clear indication of how innovation in the supply chain underpins 8 of the 10 identified sustainable development principles within the rail sector
  • an explanation of the innovation maturity model and what hard and soft enablers exist to help the railway industry move up the scale to increased innovation capability
  • how these enablers can be used by different stakeholders to effect the greatest changes, with indicative Performance Indicators
  • case studies from Deutsche Bahn, Invensys, Rolls Royce and Blu-ray, which illustrate how innovation doesn't just encompass technology

Read the full paper



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