Austrian Cooperative Research Delegation Meeting

Posted on: 03/07/2019

KTN welcomed Austrian delegates to learn about the UK’s innovation landscape.


On Monday 3rd June around 35 delegates from Austria visited Knowledge Transfer Network’s London office in order to hear about KTN and the UK’s Catapult Centres through a demonstration of the country’s innovation landscape. The delegates represented a range of governmental and research organisations, amongst others, and were conducting their visit as part of the Austrian Cooperative Research visit to the United Kingdom.

The Austrian Cooperative Research is a research network whose members, comprised of private research institutes, offer applied research and development for companies. To find out more about Austrian Cooperative Research please click here.

The delegates were welcomed by KTN’s Knowledge Transfer Manager for Emerging Tech & Industries, Monika Dunkel and Head of International & Development, Nee-Joo Teh. Monika provided her introduction in both English and German, with her subsequent presentation focusing on some of the key statistics that make KTN such an attractive organisation to approach in order to facilitate collaboration or to ease the application for funding process. The visit to KTN provided the chance to hear about our unique position in the UK innovation landscape.

Nee-Joo ran through our pivotal role in supporting the growth of the UK economy, emphasised by the more than 5,000 business engagements we built in 2018 with over 130,000 cross-sector contacts, while businesses that have engaged with KTN have reported a total of over £100 million per year increased investment in R&D. Nee-Joo explained that one of KTN’s USPs is our cross-sector breadth of knowledge, ranging from ESP to space, from design to health, from materials and agri-food to transport and beyond.

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It’s very evident that through KTN’s International Team and its focus on the successful delivery of innovation activities globally, the organisation is well positioned to help UK businesses expand internationally. Nee-Joo explained how our Innovate UK Global Expert Missions (GEMs) aim to build market insights and elevate the UK as the ‘partner of choice’ in future partnerships with strategic economies, with many GEMs leading to funding competitions between the UK and a partner country. One such example was how the combination of GEMs on AI, Advanced Manufacturing and Energy to Canada has led to two bilateral funding programmes of £12m in Smart Energy and £10m in AI for Manufacturing & Agritech.

In addition to KTN’s presence, Ian Collier, Director of Operations at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), introduced the delegates to the value of the UK’s Catapult Centres. Ian outlined the importance of the manufacturing sector in the UK, which employs 2.7 million people with the UK making £275 billion from manufacturing exports in 2018/19. He also explained the UK’s strong research base, for instance being 2nd in the world for the number of universities in the global top 200, but that sometimes the UK struggles to translate this research into commercial value. The nine Catapult Centres in the UK are used as a bridge to support this development, capitalising on our strong research capability to support industry and ultimately strengthen the UK economy. To find out more about the HVMC please click here.

The presentations were then followed by a networking session over lunch, enabling delegates to ask questions about the UK’s innovation landscape and how collaboration can be facilitated between the UK and international partners. The delegates’ visit to KTN was part of a programme which also involved a reception at the Austrian Embassy in London, a visit to Imperial College London, and an opportunity to hear about UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) at the Advantage Austria Centre. In addition to visiting London, the group also took in a trip to Cambridge where they visited TWI Ltd, the University of Cambridge and the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM).

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