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112INNOVATION UK heating or new building management systems. To enable these systems to deliver their full potential they must be effectively incorporated into the building and not sim-ply stand alone. This is the key innovation challenge for systems integration. Occupancy Experience is currently a major focus for the MBE KTN. The importance of how occupants interface with buildings is increasingly gaining recognition as one of the most important factors contributing to building performance. The industry must deliver buildings that respond to the occupants needs and enable them to reduce their own carbon footprints. Improvements in interfaces between occupants and building hardware will form a key part of the MBE KTN's activities in this area. The Technology Strategy Board, through its User Cen-tred Design Sandpit, is recognising the importance of innovation in this area. Climate Change Adaptation There is a clear need for the built environment to inno-vate to adapt to increased frequency of extreme weather events, hotter summers, wetter winters and the associ-ated effects of water availability and thermal comfort. The challenge of climate change has global implications, however the MBE KTN is focused primarily on activities that influence the UK, including thermal inertia, flood resilience and water management. Thermal inertia has been identified as the most signifi-cant challenge for climate change adaptation. This area of activity covers the fabric and design aspects of build-ings and thermal comfort issues. It considers the need for protection from extreme external temperatures and also the internal fluctuations in temperature due to building operation and occupancy. Climate change is having a sig-nificant impact on the energy consumption of our build-ings; it is already estimated that in London more energy is used to cool buildings in summer than to heat them in winter. This is a very worrying trend and represents a tremendous challenge for the industry. Design for Future Climate Change is an area that the Technology Strategy Board is very much concerned with and will be running a collaborative research and develop-ment call in this area in early 2010. Life Extension and Refurbishment With the increased realisation that the UK has an age-ing infrastructure and building stock, which has to be maintained rather than replaced, there are strong driv-ers to tackle performance improvement. Innovation in new buildings is all very well, however that forms a very small part of the built environment; the real challenge is the buildings that have been around for many years and will continue to be here for some time to come. Carrying out activities within the confines of an existing structure is altogether more challenging that starting with a blank canvas. This theme considers components of existing structures with similar or new materials to extend life or increase performance. If these solutions are to be imple-mented widely throughout the built environment we need to emphasise the importance of economic viability. The Technology Strategy Board has recognised the impor-tance of this issue through its Retrofit for the Future com-petition. The importance of this issue has been reflected in the unprecedented number of applications received. Engage with the MBE KTN The MBE KTN is keen to engage a wide range of industry stakeholders in its activities. It relies on the active engage-ment of industry to: » » Help us further define these challenges; » » Influence government priorities for increased investment; » » Showcase your innovations; » » Point you towards the UK's world- leading research capabilities; » » Help you find solutions from outside the built environment; » » Help new companies interested in this market; and » » Put you in touch with the right partners to collaborate with for effective innovation. Visit www. mbektn. co. uk for more information and to engage with the MBE KTN community. Modern Built Environment MODERN BUILT ENVIRONMENT KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER NETWORK Peter White, BRE

INNOVATION UK113 Realising the potential Bringing together several strands of the market, the new Photonics & Plastic Electronics KTN aims to add value as well as opportunity The UK Displays & Lighting and Photonics networks have been merged and streamlined to create the Phot-onics & Plastic Electronics KTN ( PPE KTN), which will incorporate and deliver the activities of the two previous entities from 1 September 2009 until 1 July 2010, when it is expected to become the photonics and plastic elec-tronics " theme holder' in the Electronics Sensors and Photonics KTN. To that end, the Photonics & Plastic Electronics KTN has prioritised the following key areas as those with maxi-mum potential for wealth creation and where PPE KTN can add most value. Plastic Electronics Plastic Electronics is the general term used to describe electronics based on semiconducting organic materials, as opposed to silicon semiconductors. However mate-rials used also include more conventional amorphous inorganic semiconductor materials, metals, metal oxides and dielectrics. It is a technology set to change the way in which we live our lives, with goods and devices set to have the potential to be slimmer, lighter, more efficient, more robust, easier to manufacture and lower cost than existing products, from medical devices to low- power flexible lighting. Photovoltaics The solar electricity market is booming. Such has been the growth in the solar electricity industry that it is now worth more than ? 13bn. Assuming more jobs are created in the installation and servicing of photovolta-ics than in their manufacture, it is estimated that by 2030 around 10 million jobs will be created by the development of solar power around the world. Optical Comunications Investment in optical fibre is forecast to grow to $ 18.5bn by 2017. The key strategic thrust in the telecoms market is Next Generation Access ( NGA) ie delivering increased bandwidth to the individual consumer. The key driver behind this demand for bandwidth is video with applica-tions such as the BBC iPlayer and Youtube consuming vast amounts of bandwidth. Biophotonics and Healthcare From the microscope to laser diagnosis and treatment in healthcare fields such as ophthalmology, cancer treatment and dermatology, optical methods for gene sequencing and biochips have opened up new routes for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. right: Solar panels Photonics Photonics & plastic electronics ktn