TSB to set up knowledge sharing network for creative sector

Creative industries are set to play a significant part in a drive to boost innovation through technology, with the launch of an initiative by The Technology Strategy Board. The TSB, sponsored by the Department for Universities, Innovation and Skills, is this week gathering interest from organisations across design, advertising and architecture, among other fields, with a view to setting up a Knowledge Transfer Network next year. The aim of the KTN will be to provide knowledge sharing, networking opportunities and cross-sector collaboration to
stimulate innovation. The TSB hopes that this ‘major investment’ will go some way to achieving Sir George Cox’s vision for the UK as a global leader in innovation, as well as implementing recommendations for boosting the economy, as set out by the Creative Economy Programme and Sainsbury Review.

‘The sector as a whole faces considerable challenges arising from its fragmented nature, the predominance of SMEs and the rapid change to products, services and business models brought about by digital technologies and globalisation. These challenges also present significant opportunities, which need to be addressed if the UK is to grow as a “world creative hub”,’ says a TSB statement.

The organisation is running a tender to set up a consortium of creative industry groups to lead the KTN. The first stage, inviting expressions of interest, has closed and the final selection will be announced early next year. Lead technologist for the creative industries at the TSB Sian Brereton says it is too early to know how design will be represented in the process, but she expects its role will be in the ‘commercialisation of technology innovation’. The role of the KTN, which will represent stakeholders, trade associations, organisations and businesses, will be to ‘identify the crosssector challenges that really require multidisciplinary collaboration’, adds Brereton.

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