KTN has today launched a new strategy which will see it turn its innovation engine onto major environmental and societal issues.

The knowledge sharing powerhouse and major partner of Innovate UK, KTN, was founded to bring disparate sectors together to facilitate R&D and fast-track innovation, with the explicit goal to stimulate the UK economy.  KTN are also the driver behind Immerse UK.

KTN has had a hand in solving economy-stunting problems such as:

  • The ventilator shortage in the early months of the pandemic by connecting UK manufacturing to healthcare.
  • The safe transport of nuclear waste from old facilities to new by connecting medical X-ray suppliers to the nuclear industry.
  • Preventing major food shortages by connecting robotics researchers with commercial crop growers to overcome the dwindling picker workforce.

Today’s dramatic shift in focus, which is being driven by newly appointed CEO, Dr Alicia Greated, is the cornerstone of a five-year plan to “change the world”, using KTN’s deep expertise and powerful connections not only for economic good, but environmental and societal good too, starting with the goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Dr Alicia Greated says, “Innovation is complex. The journey from idea to market is not straightforward and requires a diverse range of know-how, investment, market knowledge and research, and we make that happen.  KTN exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating the time it takes for ambitious ideas to become real-world solutions, and we’ve been incredibly successful over the years.”

KTN has ambitions to extend its global impact as part of its five-year strategy, but is already involved in a broader range of projects in the UK, such as:

  • Bringing its network of mathematical scientists together to help FareShare, the UK’s largest charity dedicated to tackling food poverty, better forecast demand for food products and optimise its distribution networks to meet that demand.
  • Holding a nationwide innovation call to address the challenge of social distancing requirements on transport ships. Five new technologies are now undergoing trials to ensure workboats can take the necessary number of engineers to offshore wind farms and prevent their failure. These technologies are also being assessed for suitability in other industry sectors.
  • Creating a partnership between charity Positive Steps and Manchester Metropolitan University to create a new framework in consultation with young people from within the criminal justice system which has resulted in reduced reoffending rates and improved life chances. The scheme is the first of its kind in the UK to be co-created with the young offenders themselves and was facilitated via the use of boxing, rap lyric writing and urban art workshops.

Asha Easton who leads Immerse UK on behalf of KTN said of the recent announcement:

“This is an exciting time for KTN. As the UK’s biggest network connecting people, ideas, and resources to help solve the biggest challenges faced by the UK Government & industry, KTN plays an instrumental role in shaping R&D across the country.

Immersive technologies are evolving rapidly & are regularly being deployed in new industries. One of our greatest strengths as the UK’s immersive technology network is our access to the deep expertise & diverse connections of our KTN colleagues. This gives us a unique ability to facilitate cross-sector innovation, drive adoption of the technology, and position the UK as a world leader in the sector.”

Find out more

Visit the new refreshed KTN website