Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

KTP helps UK businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge, technology and skills that are available within our world class Knowledge Base (universities, colleges and research organisations), through the development of collaborative partnerships which stimulate innovation and can transform the participating organisations.

It offers businesses the opportunity to work in partnership with an academic institution to obtain knowledge and expertise to which they currently have no access, to address their business challenges and embed sustainable innovation. The knowledge sought is embedded into the company through a project or projects undertaken by a recently qualified person (known as the KTP Associate) recruited specifically to work on that project.

KTP delivers a knowledge transfer project for business innovation and embeds a sustainable capability. Through KTP businesses can also develop and integrate the capacity and capability for innovation after and beyond KTP projects.

KTPs can vary in length from six months to three years, depending on the needs of the organisation and the desired outcomes. Part-funded by the Government they are a cost effective way to gain access to well-qualified people and experts within the UK’s universities, colleges and research organisations who can also help to take your organisation forward.

The programme is UK – wide, headed by the Technology Strategy Board and supported by 12 other funding organisations including all of the research councils, the devolved administrations, Invest Northern Ireland, and two other government departments.


Government funds part of the cost of running the KTP project. The level of grant that the partnership can receive depends on the size of the company. The grant is paid through the academic partner and the level also depends on whether the academic partner uses a full economic costing model. As an example a small or medium sized enterprise might contribute around a third of the project costs with the remainder being paid as grant. Currently average project costs are around £60, 000. Larger companies generally receive a lower level of funding.

Your regional KTP Adviser will be able to provide more details on funding levels.

Benefits for the Company Partner

Latest information shows that, on average, the business benefits that can be expected from a single KTP project are:

  • an increase of over £240,000 in annual profits before tax
  • the creation of two genuine new jobs
  • an increase in the skills of existing staff

Application Process

Potential applicants can discuss possible project ideas with a University KTP Office or contact one of our Regional KTP Advisers directly.

KTP Advisers provide advice on eligibility and timescales and work with all the potential partners to develop the joint proposals.

The application process involves:

  • Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EoI)
  • Stage 2: Approved EoIs invited to submit a grant proposal and application form
  • Stage 3: Our Partnership Approvals Group (PAG) makes a funding decision

Both the EoI and application must be agreed by a KTP Adviser before submission by the academic partner for consideration by PAG. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by Partnership Approvals Group (PAG) which meets 6 times per year. We also run themed calls for KTPs aligned with priority areas for the Technology Strategy Board and other funding organisations to stimulate KTPs in specific areas. Details of current themed calls for KTPs can be found here.

Who is eligible?

KTP has worked with over 3,000 organisations. From manufacturing to design, sustainability to marketing; any business sector, including third sector and public sector organisations such as the NHS, can take part. Businesses of all sizes can take part too, from micro businesses to large enterprises.

Your regional KTP Adviser will be able to provide more details on eligibility.

Further Information

See the KTP website for more information and to access our case studies.

To find out how your organisation could get involved in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, please contact us:

Last updated on Friday 09 November 2012 at 16:06

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