About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

Since the programme started in 1975, KTP has helped around 12,000 organisations – big and small, in all industry sectors and right across the UK – to innovate for growth.

Each dynamic collaboration is made up of three partners who all benefit from their engagement in KTP:

  • Businesses and not for profit organisations gain access to the UK’s world class academic expertise, helping them innovate for growth and embed knowledge for lasting, positive impact. Find out more about how businesses can benefit from and participate in KTP here
  • Graduates with one of the biggest recruitment platforms in the UK (around 300 jobs every year) – a unique career springboard, leading change on a strategic innovation project. Find out more about the opportunities of working as a KTP Associate here.
  • Academics with a valuable opportunity to apply the outcomes of their research to real world business challenges. Find out more here.

These three partners work together, via a KTP, on an innovation project of strategic importance to the business. They are supported throughout the project by one of Innovate UK Business Connect’s expert Knowledge Transfer Advisers who are on hand throughout the lifetime of the project (usually between 12 to 36 months) to enable and inspire its success. Find your nearest KTA here.

The “classic” KTP – focused on driving product, service or process innovation – is complemented by the Management KTP , which is all about enhancing human-centred strategic transformation; and the KTP model has now been internationalised with the introduction of the African Agriculture KTP (AAKTP).

Innovate UK Business Connect’s national network of 34 Advisers are key to KTP success. They play a vital role in progressing a KTP application and delivering the KTP project. They are on hand from start to finish of every KTP providing experience, knowledge and support to help the project succeed. View a list of Innovate UK Business Connect’s specialist Knowledge Transfer Advisers (KTAs) and their locations here.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are funded by a grant from the UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and other government co-funders (see below – delivery partners). You apply for funding in a competitive call for submissions and these funding competitions are open throughout the year (see funding competition timetable below).

A Knowledge Transfer Adviser will help you with your application and talk you through project costs which are variable:

  • For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the grant rate is 67% of the project cost
  • For large companies 50%
  • For the third sector it’s 75%.
  • The remainder of the project cost is met by a cash payment from your organisation.

Find out more about how KTPs work here. 

Read the eligibility criteria for KTP here. 

Check here for the full list of open and close dates for applying for a KTP funding competition. All dates are subject to change.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are funded by UKRI through Innovate UK with the support of other government co-funders.  Innovate UK manages the KTP programmes and facilitates their delivery through a range of partners including Innovate UK Business Connect, Knowledge Bases and Businesses. Each partner plays a specific role in the support and delivery of the programme.

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency, a non-departmental public body operating at arm’s length from the Government as part of UKRI.

Innovate UK Business Connect is a knowledge-based network of people that exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real-world solutions to make positive change happen.

As well as facilitating delivery of the KTP and mKTP programmes, Innovate UK Business Connect runs a wide variety of briefings and events to help UK businesses in all sectors access expertise and funding.

See the full events listing here.

See the latest funding opportunities here.

Access a range of assets here.

In spring 2023, we ran a series of events around the UK for people to find out more about KTP from the business innovators and academic experts engaged in these transformative partnerships. View the past events here.

what they say

Chirine Riachy, PhD
About KTP

"KTP projects pave the way to businesses who want to exploit the latest advancements but do not have the expertise or confidence to do so. Through input from academic experts advising on the latest research in the field, and unrelenting support and guidance from Innovate UK, success is way more attainable."

Head of Data Science, Charles Clinkard
Lucy Jones
About KTP

"The KTP not only provided the project management and skilled people....but the support of the University academic supervisors [made] it as current and evidence based as possible. A KTP was one of the only ways to achieve this."

VP Clinical, Oviva UK
Agnieszka Bachleda-Baca
About KTP

"My KTP was challenging but very rewarding at the same time. I have received an unique opportunity to work in the industry and academia at the same time, which is very advantageous. I became a better researcher and worked with different departments at the company, which gave me a great idea of how I want to shape my career path". Find out more about Agneiska's experience in this longer profile piece here.

arbnco / University of Strathclyde
Emily Mason (BSc Hons, Biopharmaceutical Science)
About KTP

"For me, the KTP role has really been a life changing opportunity.... I hadn’t heard of KTP until I applied for my role, however after the experience I have had I recommend it to anyone - especially graduates as it’s a great bridge between university and ‘real life’. It is certainly a decision I will never regret".

Northumbria Pharma / University of Sunderland
Melanie Herrmann
About KTP

"I am privileged to work both with gifted academics at the University of Cambridge, and bright minds at Vizzuality, a change agency for a sustainable and fair future. I am grateful for this unique opportunity to work in a job that I love and believe in."

Vizzuality/University of Cambridge
Dr Shirley Ann Hazlett, Senior Lecturer, Queen's University Belfast Management School
About KTP

"The Management KTP initiative is fantastic for any growth-oriented SME, such as RBP, and we cannot recommend this programme highly enough."

David Beattie
About KTP

“Through KTP, I’ve found a graduate role which offers both academic and industry experience in equal measure. My role is intensely immersive, which I put down to the considerable degree of autonomy the KTP framework affords. Our project is a win-win for its stakeholders, may lead to job creation and will reduce our Carbon footprint. That’s satisfying.” See a longer profile piece about David Beattie's KTP here.

Davidsons Feeds/James Hutton Institute
Neha Sharma
About KTP

"KTP is like a beautiful interwoven fabric of academia and industry."

KTP Associate, Cosmotec Ltd and University of Salford
Professor Yvonne Perrie
About KTP

"KTP provides a superb pathway for knowledge transfer, enabling academic research to be applied to deliver impact to real world solutions".

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Paul Graham
About KTP

"The KTP has been a revolutionary programme, enabling the business to completely standardise the design process with the added luxury of achieving high accuracy at a high speed.”

IG Masonry Support Systems General Manager
Georgiana Nica-Avram
About KTP

"Working with OLIO and the University of Nottingham has helped me develop personally and professionally. It has helped me contribute the skills and knowledge I have gained so far, as well as develop new skills in the fast-paced domain of data science. OLIO is dedicated to addressing one of today’s greatest challenges- food waste, and I am grateful to be part of this solution."

University of Nottingham / OLIO


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