1KN Innovation Programme

The 1-KN programme provides an introduction to the Need-Led Innovation Process—a systematic and proven approach to the identification of unmet user needs and the creative design of new technologies that takes important stakeholders into account. This programme was developed to provide an essential addition to the amazing offerings in Oxford with regards to innovation and entrepreneurship. It builds on years of experience running need-driven innovation training programmes at the University of Oxford.

The 1KN programme originated from the idea of the challenges that we will face in 2039, which also marks 20 years mark after Reuben College was founded. The 1KN programme is an initiative aimed at identifying underlying needs of specific global problems and creating solutions, which are socially sustainable. The name “1KN” comes from the idea of representing the year 2039 as a Base-36 system (1KN is just a different way of writing 2039).

The programme will include specific sessions for health-focussed areas, as an extension of the previously-run Biodesign 'Short Programme' and 'EPL-HIT'. The immediate aim of the programme is to provide entrepreneurial participants with the skills needed to become innovators through hands-on learning in digital innovation, mentorship, and feedback from world-leading experts. The programme provides guidance and best practice around anticipating potential hurdles early on in the innovation process.

The 1KN leverages a needs-pull approach rather than a technology-push approach. This process starts by characterising and identifying the needs of the market, particularly within the focus areas of the UK industrial strategy. 1KN applies need-led innovation beyond healthcare to the entirety of Reuben topics.

The programme will run from January through June, during Hilary Term (8 + 1 weeks) on a once-weekly basis at Reuben College in Oxford. At the end of the programme, teams will be given the opportunity to pitch for further mentoring from Reuben College Experts. More information can be found here.