Sensing and instrumentation technology plays a vital role in addressing many of today's major global challenges and the potential impact of sensing technology is far-reaching
The Sensors & Instrumentation KTN is at the heart of the UK?s sensing community, bringing together industry and researchers to stimulate innovation in the development and deployment of sensors and instrumentation. It covers the whole of the UK?s sensing community, from the principles of measurement and novel sensor technologies to instrumentation, deployment and data analysis. The KTN?s team is experienced in knowledge transfer and innovation management and has a broad range of skills and expertise in the sensing and instrumentation sector.
Brokering relationships is at the heart of the KTN?s activities. Whether a company?s needs are money, market or technology-focused, the KTN helps the organisation to make the necessary contacts.
The Sensors & Instrumentation KTN provides information on what funding is available, and the application process. It also provides mentoring support by reviewing proposals. The KTN helped Sensornet ? an innovative company offering advanced asset monitoring solutions ? to win £200,000 funding through the EPSRC SBRI funding competition. The award helped Sensornet to develop its technology and attract venture capital investment.
TRW Conekt is a technology and engineering consultancy business to the automotive, defence and aerospace industries. It is participating in collaborative projects with grant funding worth several hundred thousand pounds per year from the UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and EU Framework programmes. ?We have recently started a new TSB funded collaborative project worth more than £50,000 in grants where our participation in the consortium is a direct result of introductions made by the Sensors & Instrumentation KTN?s Technology Translators,? says Roger Hazelden, head of TRW Conekt?s sensing group.
The Sensors & Instrumentation KTN provides roadmapping sessions to help companies work out where they are, and where they want to be. The KTN?s networking and promotional opportunities ? events, newsletter and e-alert ? provide a means for the company to get there.
Networking at the Sensors & Instrumentation KTN?s events combined with technology roadmapping led to a project on wireless sensing involving Vibro-meter UK, TRW Conekt and Coventry University. ?Without the KTN, we wouldn?t have made the contacts,? says Mark Langley, R&D Manager at Vibro-meter UK, a company producing a variety of sensors and ignition systems for aerospace and industrial gas turbine applications.
Vibro-meter UK is to present at a forthcoming KTN event. ?This is a great way of letting other members know what we do and which technologies we seek,? says Langley. The KTN ?gives us access to people and SMEs that we wouldn?t normally meet,? says James Roberts, Instrumentation R+T Capability Owner at Rolls- Royce. ?This extended network strengthens our bids for both UK and European funded work.?
The varied membership of the Sensors & Instrumentation KTN provides a large pool of expertise for companies to draw on when testing and refining their product. A number of active Special Interest Groups cover a broad range of technology and application areas, including wireless sensors, advanced instrumentation, biosensing and research facilities. ?It?s vital for us to have knowledge of, and access to, the best sensing technologies to meet our clients? requirements, and the KTN is an ideal way to keep up-to-date with sensor developments,? says Hazelden.
The KTN acts as a bridge between academia and industry. Its relationships with funding bodies and universities help businesses to secure funding for the placement of PhD students, expanding their research capabilities and making academic PhDs more relevant to industry. In 2007, the KTN awarded Michelson Diagnostics ? a healthcare company providing a live subsurface view of cancerous tissue ? a CASE Award studentship of £64,000 over three years, funding two-thirds of the cost of a PhD student.
Helping UK business to fully exploit international markets is a focus of the Sensors & Instrumentation KTN, and it has forged links with UKTI to coordinate its support. The KTN participates in and organises events where UK sensing companies can meet representatives of emerging markets. The KTN also promotes European funding calls and assists members with applications, with notable successes: a European consortium includes KTN members Rolls-Royce, Oxsensis and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. This e9 million project is in its second year.
For more information on the
Sensors & Instrumentation KTN,
and to become a member
go to www.sensorsktn.com
The UK?s annual £3bn sensing market supports:
The Sensors & Instrumentation KTN in numbers (2007):
Added the 14 September 2008 in category Innovation UK Vol4-1