Five challenges on KTN-iX

Posted on: 27/05/2020

From audit trails to voice based queries, solving the challenges will help a large company with security, administration and productivity issues.


Five challenges have been posted on KTN-iX, with challenger seeking novel solutions and offering those who are successful the chance to pitch and potential further business collaborations.


KTN-iX is an online platform that promotes innovation transfer, matching real industry challenges from large companies (Tier 1 and 2) to organisations, often from other sectors, who have innovative technology and can facilitate faster development of novel solutions to those challenges. The solution to challenges could come from diverse sectors – the transfer of skills and knowledge from other sectors is a key driver for the platform.


The five challenges from one challenge holder are listed below.

Automatic document processing

The organisation has to access a large number of legal and/or policy documents daily. Currently this is done using a standard electronic form with a combination of tick boxes and free text. Then a number of teams manually review the forms to confirm compliance. There may be 200+ requests to check per day. The client is looking for an automated process to review documents, highlight areas of potential non-compliance and then prioritise them based on a confidence of compliance/non-compliance for a person to review and sign off.


Topic detection on the phone

As part of daily operations, organisational staff are involved in a large number of remote meetings via phone, Skype or similar, always within the broader Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). These may involve a range of sensitive topics which should not be discussed during such calls or meetings. At the moment the organisation is reliant on individuals’ discretion to ensure this is adhered to. The organisation is looking for a system that is able to identify key topics and, once identified, give a warning to alert those on the call. The data should then be saved to highlight that a particular topic has been discussed.

It will not always be as simple as identifying single, key words. Sometimes a discussion may talk around a topic to such an extent that the conversation becomes sensitive. In the first instance it is assumed that the language being used will be English.


Voice based query

As part of operational activities, engineers and other staff are required to access technical information such as manuals, operating procedures, safety standards, group policies and technical guidance.

Currently this information will be held on a laptop on which an individual will be able to search for the information on the company’s systems. As engineers usually have a tool or device in their hands this results in a high percentage of non value-added time on particular jobs.

The challenger is looking for a system with which an individual can verbally ask a question and be provided with a spoken or visual response. In the first instance it is assumed that the working language will be English however the organisation is interested in solutions that can be used in a variety of languages.


Immutable audit trail of a component or device

The challenge owner has a very large, diverse supply chain. Components and sub-assemblies of equipment purchased are commonly produced by multiple different parties that supply the organisation’s primary suppliers.

In order to prevent non-compliant parts entering the organisation or to trace the origin of parts on the introduction of new compliance regulations, which affect legacy parts, it is necessary to establish irrefutably the origin and history of a part and associated documentation.

Any technology or system must be able to be implemented by a wide range of organisations. Ideally it should be an approach that can be integrated with existing systems however stand-alone solutions will be considered.


Component recognition and tracking

It is often necessary to relocate large numbers of pieces of equipment and associated tools for replacement or maintenance. Parts range in size from those that are easily carried by hand by a single person, e.g. pumps, valves, wrenches, flexible hoses etc., to those that require machinery to lift, such as control cabinets and generators. Although primarily undertaken in the UK, such activity can be required anywhere in the world.

In order not to misplace those objects and so as to reduce wastage due to unnecessary duplication, it is critical that the movements and whereabouts of each asset is recorded and stored securely. Objects are moved by a number of different means, including fork-lift, crane and manual handling. All objects must pass through designated entry/exit points.

Due to the harsh environments and robust handling that many parts experience, solutions that involve the addition of ‘tags’ (QR codes, RFID tags) have proven not to be sufficiently reliable. The time and associated cost of adding new tags each time a piece of equipment is moved is prohibitive. It is therefore necessary to implement a system that does not rely on adding devices to parts or equipment.


Chris Bagley, Head of Infrastructure for KTN said: “Challengers are looking for solutions and have often exhausted their usual routes. That means the answers often come from outside their own sector, giving successful applicants the opportunity to get in front of large companies and get that vital foot in the door.”


The solutions to this organisation’s challenges could come from a wide range of sectors, for example:

  • AI
  • Machine learning
  • AR/VR
  • Security services
  • Wearable technology
  • Aerospace
  • Food and drink
  • Transport
  • Voice and linguistic experts


These challenges all close on 10 July. To read the briefs and supporting information and to submit an application, visit KTN-iX here.

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