Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

  • The best in university-business collaboration

    What would really make a difference to your business? A better product, an improved process, a new technology?

    A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a tried-and-tested government programme which brings an ambitious graduate, supported by a university specialist, into your company to lead a project and make that difference. And a smaller organisation pays just one third of the cost!

    Dr Siew Yan Goh and Jonny Biddulph at YASA Motors

    Many thousands of companies have already benefited from KTP, and you can see some examples on our Case Studies page. Research shows that on average a Partnership will generate:

    • an increase of over £1m per annum* in annual profits before tax
    • three genuine new jobs
    • 29 additional staff trained

    Other benefits include access to the latest research and an embedding of innovation culture.

    What types of organisation take part?

    KTP is primarily focused on smaller companies, but larger businesses can also take part, as can some public and third sector organisations.

    What kind of project is eligible?

    Your project needs to show ambitious levels of innovation, impact and challenge. For example, is what you will develop new to your sector? Will the project transform the business and have a broader impact too? Is it more than a routine operation, one that will really challenge the project team? If you can answer 'yes' to all of these, KTP could be your solution.

    What are the requirements?

    Almost any company with a base in the UK can take part, though very small or recently established businesses will need evidence of how they can afford a KTP and invest in its outcomes. 

    Charlie Symonds

    KTP Associate Charlie Symonds, who developed a sustainability strategy for Stannah Stairlifts

    How long is a KTP?  

    A project can last from one to three years.

    How much will it cost?

    For a small or medium size company, government bodies such as Innovate UK contribute two-thirds of the cost. So for a typical project worth £75k pa the company pays just £25k a year.

    The KTP package:

    • a full-time 'Associate' leads the project in the company
    • the Associate is recruited jointly but employed by the university
    • a university expert works with the Associate half a day per week
    • the Associate accesses knowledge and resources at the university
    • the KTP brings generous budgets for equipment, training and travel
    • the KTP is jointly managed to ensure successful completion

    How do I apply?

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

    *Figure from Innovate UK, 2015