Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

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A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a unique three-way collaboration that brings together world-class university experts, a qualified graduate and ambitious industry partners to accelerate strategic innovation and growth.

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership?

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme is a government funded framework for driving innovation and growth by linking a UK business with a university and a recent graduate. KTP has been operating for more than 45 years.

A KTP enables an organisation to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking in order to help deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. You access expertise that you don’t have in-house, and embed it in your business to become more competitive and productive. Unlike traditional consultancy, through its emphasis on knowledge transfer, the KTP programme helps develop lasting relationships for ongoing strategic innovation and sustainable growth.

Oxford Brookes University utilises the KTP programme to help drive innovation and productivity in the UK, and to ensure businesses remain competitive in a changing market and continue to grow and develop. Oxford Brookes University has partnered with a range of businesses on KTPs from technology companies to a legal practice.

“With success rates of 85%, and rising, your new project may be just months away.”

Anna Verghese, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Manager

Your business and KTPs

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can help your business or organisation to create a step-change in a combination of some of these areas:

  • Access new expertise and embed new knowledge to drive profitability
  • Apply a new technology, improve a process or develop a new market
  • Develop a culture of increased productivity
  • Create a culture of accelerated innovation to drive competitive advantage
  • Create new ideas or Intellectual Property
  • Gain access to new markets, develop new products, increase efficiency and productivity
  • Gain new strategic insights with cost-effective access to the UK’s world-class knowledge base
  • Access funding from the innovation agency Innovate UK or other organisations in UK Research and Innovation

A KTP is for projects with ambitious levels of innovation, impact and challenge that result in significant wealth creation. It might be a new development within your sector or a chance to enter a different market.

A project can last from 1 to 3 years in one month blocks.

“I fully endorse Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. It’s really been transformational for Blenheim. I am sure it won’t be the last KTP that we’ll have here. I think the ability to bring this academia and real-world business challenges together is incredibly powerful. We can solve really complex puzzles together.”

David Green, Head of Innovation at Blenheim


What are the requirements?

To take part, companies need to: 

  • have a registered base in the UK
  • evidence that they can afford a KTP and invest in its outcomes

Projects can be office-based, hybrid or fully remote.


  • Round 1 - 10 April 2024 (opening soon)
  • Round 2 - 26 June 2024
  • Round 3 - 25 September 2024
  • Round 4 - 27 November 2024
  • Round 5 - 5 February 2024

We advise allowing 6-8 weeks to prepare your proposal.

How does the KTP package work?

  1. A full-time 'KTP Associate' (recent graduate) actions the project from within the company.
  2. The Associate is recruited jointly but employed by the University.
  3. An expert from the University leads the approach, working with the Associate half a day per week.
  4. The Associate accesses knowledge and resources at the University.
  5. The KTP brings budgets for contributions to equipment, training and travel.
  6. The KTP is jointly managed to ensure successful completion.

How much will it cost?

Part of the cost of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is funded by a grant from the innovation agency Innovate UK, and other government co-funders. You apply for this in a competitive call for submissions.

For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the grant rate is 67% of the project cost and for large companies 50%. The remainder of the project cost is met by monthly cash payments from your company.

For a typical project, Oxford Brookes University offers a cost-effective opportunity to engage in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). Your company can make a modest investment per year to embed a recent graduate (KTP Associate) in your organisation, supported by senior academics and the extensive resources of our university. This collaboration brings new capabilities and the potential for wealth creation.

Businesses that participate in KTPs experience significant benefits, with the potential for notable increases in pre-tax profit. KTPs provide a platform for driving innovation, enhancing productivity, and achieving substantial financial growth.

Employer Size Funding Rate Employer contribution (approx.)
Third Sector 75% £22-25k per year
SME 67% £28-33k per year
Large Business 50% £43-48k per year
person sitting at a desk whilst working on a budget

How to apply?

Contact us to discuss your idea.
We will scope out a project with you, and work together on a grant application.

About the KTP Associate

A key person in the partnership is the KTP Associate.

This is an ambitious recent graduate who is jointly recruited by the partners to implement the project in your business. Educated to a level appropriate for the project, the associate will be the conduit for change, transferring implementing and embedding the knowledge generated and providing feedback from you to the academic partner. The Associate will join the University’s payroll, but their place of work is in your organisation and they work as a member of your team. Academic staff from the University visit the company every week to guide and supervise the work.

The length of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships varies from 12 – 36 months, depending on the nature of the project and the requirements of your business.

Benefits to the KTP Associate:

  • Employment for suitably qualified graduates to apply their knowledge to realise a key strategic innovation
  • Experience of managing a challenging real-world project
  • The chance to implement strategic development within an innovative company
  • Opportunity to potentially acquire an additional professional qualification
  • Dedicated coaching, mentoring and personal development
  • The possibility of a rewarding job with the company at the end of the project.

Become a KTP Associate:

If you are serious about getting ahead and you want to apply your degree knowledge, start a 'real' job straight away, and potentially gain a professional qualification, then a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) may be the perfect opportunity for you.

As an employee on a KTP programme, you’ll be pursuing challenging work and making a real impact within the company or organisation you join, helping it to innovate, grow and develop as you establish your own skills and achievements.

KTP is one of the UK's largest recruiters of recently qualified graduates. Positions are available across the UK, with up to 500 jobs created each year. Find out more about KTP as a career option or see the list of current national KTP vacancies and vacancies being advertised soon.

a brookes ktp associate in front of a ktp project

Raise your organisation's profile

A successful KTP provides a rich source of innovation stories, data and testimonial to help showcase your success and raise the profile of the company or the professional standing of the academic.

As a business, KTP projects can provide a wealth of intriguing news stories, video clips and other content to add to the company’s marketing assets and engage the customer.

As an academic, groundbreaking research offers the opportunity not just to write academic papers but to collect real-world case study information for teaching purposes, as well as submissions for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the much-anticipated Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), and University website. All of this helps raise the standing of the project within the relevant research community and maybe contribute to potential joint public speaking opportunities.

Capture information

Plan to capture information for marketing use, at each key step of the journey. Think in terms of quantitative data and qualitative, visual and written assets. For example:

  • Photographs - before and after if there is a visual change, but also of key personnel, the main entrance of the building and labs or company offices you are working in.
  • Video – capture key moments of breakthrough or change, and interviews with personnel from the CEO to the graduate associate. This could be filmed on a smartphone (landscape style).
  • Testimonial – capture written comments about how the problem has been solved or innovation achieved.
  • Data – think not just about benchmarking the project but capture fun facts pertinent to the project – maybe about the amounts of raw materials used in a process or the number of hours spent brainstorming.
cameraman filming two people in a modern setting

Why does Oxford Brookes University take part in KTPs?

Oxford Brookes University is committed to sharing expertise and translating our knowledge into practical, commercial responses to real-world business challenges and this in turn increases our fund of knowledge as a University. Work undertaken through KTPs contributes to the University’s academic outputs including research papers and enriching teaching by providing in-depth, live case studies or access to industry partners and experts.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership benefits for Oxford Brookes University include:

  • Increasing our fund of knowledge
  • Creating strategic relationships with innovative business partners
  • Producing new research papers and giving real-world case studies for our teaching
  • Bringing valuable research income and helping identify contemporary research themes
  • Bringing experience of applying knowledge and expertise to real-world problems
  • Contributing to our evidence for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

We champion KTPs through our Research and Business Development Office. We discuss with businesses the challenges they face and identify the best academic team to help. We engage expert thinkers and innovative specialists who are pleased to embrace problem-solving.

Oxford Brookes University and KTPs

Oxford Brookes University will work in partnership with you to develop a successful KTP application and manage the project from start to completion – ensuring a long-term boost to your organisation. We are on hand throughout the project and will work with you: 

  • to help scope out the idea, 
  • find an academic partner, 
  • cost the project and create your grant application. 
Furthermore, we will help you agree strategic objectives and benchmarks, and handle review meetings to help you shape and manage your project and deliver it on time.

Take the first steps to explore a KTP opportunity with Oxford Brookes. We’ll work with you to develop a successful KTP application, recruit your KTP graduate, and partner with you to boost your business.

oxford brookes university building

Plan a follow-up project

A KTP typically lasts between 1-3 years. Once complete many partnerships go on to apply for future funding to continue to build on their partnership either involving the same academic team or a different combination. The criteria remain the same, so be thinking about ‘next steps’ while the current project is in play and consider how the company or organisation might grow again through KTP.

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Take the first steps to explore a KTP opportunity with Oxford Brookes. We’ll work with you to develop a successful KTP application, recruit your KTP graduate, and partner with you to boost your organisation.

Directorate of Research, Innovation and Enterprise