Why do we care about innovation?

Posted on: 10/01/2019

Have you ever been to a KTN event or met someone who works for KTN? If so, you’ve probably heard that innovation is at the heart of everything we do.


It even says it on the home page of our website ‘Connecting people to accelerate innovation’. You might wonder what we mean by innovation, and why innovation is so important to us.

Simply put, innovation is important to us because it is important to the UK. We’ll admit that this isn’t answering a question but raising a new one. Why is innovation important to the UK? It is important because it helps grow the economy. If you think about it, if UK organisations did the same thing all the time, the economy would stay the same.

Innovation also allows for new solutions for problems that society faces. This is why KTN and Innovate UK help boost innovation in the UK.

We are organising a series of events across the UK to inform local people and businesses about funding opportunities, give them an opportunity to network and inspire them to begin or develop their innovation journey. Upcoming events are covering the East of England, in Cambridge on 22nd January, the South West of England, in Bournemouth on 30th January and North Central England, in Sheffield on 19th February. Future events will also take place in London, the South East of England, the West Midlands and Scotland.


Hear from the people at the heart of organising the events below.


Roger Hetherington, Senior Innovation Adviser at Enterprise Europe Network East tells us what innovation means to him. “Innovation is the successful exploitation of new knowledge. Essentially it’s about transforming your clever idea into something tangible that makes a real difference to people’s lives.”


Howard Partridge, Regional Manager for the East of England at Innovate UK, shares his thoughts on why people shouldn’t miss our next event at Anglia Ruskin University. “Innovative ideas spark more frequently when people discuss what they’re working on or the problems they see. Whether you call it a conversation or “knowledge transfer”, we know that it happens more easily when you’re in the same place as someone and can point at or touch the things you’re talking about. People should come to our event to hear first-hand from people who’ve launched great ideas, to meet our advisers and expert people at the university, and to ask them all their questions. They will meet other people like themselves who might have the answers to the problems that are holding them back. They say that “innovation is a contact sport”. This is a great time to get stuck in!”


Professor Roderick Watkins, Acting Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, says:

“We are delighted to be hosting this important event where local businesses and entrepreneurs can meet experts from Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network to learn about the funding, support and academic expertise available to help their ideas take off.

Research and innovation, specialising in close-to-market advances that can make a real difference to people’s lives, takes place across Anglia Ruskin University. This work is complemented by our successful knowledge transfer partnerships, where academics and our high calibre students help companies across the East of England and beyond to drive innovation and help grow their businesses and the economy.”


Anglia Ruskin University is host to our next event in the East of England at their £45m Science Centre on the 22nd January, with Enterprise Europe Network and Innovate UK. Click here to find out how this event can help you on your innovation journey.

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