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Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) helps UK businesses to improve 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.

They offer 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 thrugh 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 businesses 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 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 £65, 000. Larger companies generally receive a lower level of funding.

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 £300,000 in annual profits before tax
  • The creation of two genuine new jobs
  • An increase in the skills of existing staff
 Application Process

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.

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, and businesses of all sizes, can take part. 

Further Information

See the KTP website for more information including case studies.

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