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As a result of a major review, The Technology Strategy Board will refocus the work of its knowledge transfer networks (KTNs), which bring together businesses, universities and research organisations.

The coverage of business and technology sectors will be revised to create a more targeted and accessible range of network resources.

The review, which obtained views from 2100 KTN users and research and development intensive businesses, confirmed the value of the networks.

Seventy-five per cent of business respondents rated KTN services as ‘effective’ or ‘highly effective’.

More than 50 per cent have developed or are developing new research and development or commercial relationships with people met through a KTN and 25 per cent have made changes to their innovation activities as a result of their engagement.

The most highly rated functions of KTNs, according to the survey, are: monitoring and reporting on technologies, applications and markets; providing high quality networking opportunities; and identifying and prioritising key innovation-related issues and challenges.

But the review also identified areas where networks overlapped and some where there is poor provision and a good opportunity to develop new networks.

David Way, director of knowledge exchange and special projects at the Technology Strategy Board, said: ‘While the number of formal networks will reduce from the current 25 to around 15, all existing knowledge exchange communities, which have more than 45,000 members, will continue to be supported within the new structure.

‘We are also planning to establish new KTNs in some areas, for example financial services and energy generation and supply.’ The Technology Strategy Board would like to increase the number of individuals and businesses that use KTNs.

The review also highlighted the strong benefits brought to the KTN programme through links with a wide range of partners.

KTNs engage with trade associations, technology providers, research councils, regional development agencies and devolved administrations to deliver benefits to businesses.

The Technology Strategy Board will use its links to strengthen these bonds where possible.

Technology Strategy Board

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