The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is the lead partner for the Smart Specialisation Hub. The KTN is the UK’s Innovation Network, connecting people to speed up innovation, solve problems and find markets for new ideas.

Sue Dunkerton, KTN Director and Chair of the Hub Programme Board, gave some insight into how the organisation is involved with Smart Specialisation and the Hub.

The KTN and Smart Specialisation

Smart Specialisation strategies help local areas not only to drill down and to evidence their key strengths and capabilities are. It also helps them better understand their competitive advantages, and how they could be improved further by working together with other regions.

The KTN believes that raising awareness of Smart Specialisation and helping local areas to adopt this methodology and better align their strategies will make the whole of the UK more competitive globally.

The KTN and the Smart Specialisation Hub

The KTN’s primary role is to nurture, develop and scale up innovation within business to create wealth and grow the UK economy.

The Smart Specialisation Hub complements this and offers a great opportunity to better understand and strengthen innovation in the UK. It encourages and works towards better synergies at local, regional and national level.

The Hub aims to support local areas in several ways:

  • Informing better investment decision making by providing trusted expertise and insight of comparative data sources;
  • Delivering a portal of available data at local and national level and a new analytical framework that can inform local strategies and decision making;
  • Mobilising collaboration across geographical boundaries and sectors.

Making innovation ‘stick’

Sue Dunkerton said:

“Working with Smart Specialisation extends the work of KTN to support local ecosystems and decision makers in making places of England more innovative and creating greater awareness of local strengths.

Making innovation ‘stick’ within these shores is a great ambition. It enables us to work with business and local assets to realise capability and extend capacity to be more globally competitive.

Combining the work of KTN in connecting the landscape with that of The National Centre in analysing local assets brings new resources to the fore, enabling us to realise our potential.

Our attention is on economic growth. We recognise that innovation is global, but it happens in physical locations. It has a greater chance of success if surrounded by a supporting infrastructure.

The Hub supports Smart Specialisation, which addresses innovation and the geographic economy in a unique way.”

About the author

Kim is the Digital Communications Officer for the Smart Specialisation Hub.

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