What is the KTN?  

Innovate UK’s KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is a not-for-profit organization, established to help businesses thrive and the economy grow. As the UK’s leading innovation network, Innovate UK’s KTN brings together businesses, entrepreneurs, academics, and funders to develop new products and services. This is all with the aim of improving the lives of people by capturing maximum value from innovative ideas, scientific research, and creativity.  

KTN Design Mentors supporting The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) 

In March 2020, the KTN recruited design mentors to work on a funding programme for The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The GCRF was a £1.5 billion fund to support innovative research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries.  

Victoria Milne, CEO of Tenshi and technical expert of ISO, was selected from a pool of specialists to become a Design Mentor for 9 months, and work with a small number of companies who were deploying human-centred design within their projects; for the first time.  

Tenshi’s partnerships from the GCRF 

Victoria and Tenshi worked with several small businesses as part of the GCRF funding programme, two of those were: 

Mitt Wearables: founded to build prosthetic bionic limbs at affordable prices for those who need them. We worked with them to develop a feasibility study into the viability of providing innovative, flexible prosthetic devices to limb-difference patients in Sri Lanka.  

Find out more about the Mitt Wearables project here.  

Marlan Tech: a maritime tech company who offer tailored solutions for vessel traffic monitoring and management in ports and harbours, plus along coasts and borders. We worked with them to conduct a feasibility study to assess the potential for dramatically increasing the efficiency of maintenance dredging at the port of Beira in Mozambique. 

Find out more about the Marlan Tech project here.

Tenshi’s Design Mentorship Expertise 

Design mentorship required a breath of skills and experience, including: 

  • Excellent people skills but unafraid to ask difficult and challenging questions. 
  • An ability to explore issues deeply to get to the root cause of an issue. 
  • The ability to communicate the steps necessary to take products or services to market. 
  • Communication different design processes and methods clearly and have extensive experience of using these when consulting and working on projects. 
  • Knowledge to advise on and decide the appropriate user research methods. 
  • Ability to advise on and decide on appropriate prototyping and user testing methods. 
  • Calling upon the delivery of design projects that have had an impact – particularly in projects for low-income or overseas markets. 

Victoria heads up Tenshi’s Design Mentorship and Coaching and is a qualified, award-winning Industrial Designer and Agile Certified Practitioner, with a wide range of skills and expertise in Design Thinking, innovation, branding and strategy. She is a technical expert committee member for both the British Standards Institute (BSI) for Design Management and The International Standards Organisation (ISO) in innovation management and a Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Fellow.She has worked internationally for Philips Design, Unilever, Saatchi & Saatchi and the Brand Union amongst others.  

“I love Innovation and how it can improve life for the better and I thoroughly enjoy learning and supporting new technologies, facilitating and managing global open innovation initiatives and am passionate about skills development and behaviour change.” Victoria Milne  

Get in touch 

If you are looking for support in applying human-centred design to your upcoming project, please contact us and we’d be happy to have a chat about how Tenshi can help you.