The programme has been designed to create short-term collaborations between a Business Partner and a UK Knowledge Base* to rapidly inject innovation capacity. Inspired by the highly successful partnership model of KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership), Innovate UK – Accelerated Knowledge Transfer’s concept is to deliver a rapid and targeted intervention to accelerate the evaluation or development of an innovation project or concept, which has the potential for significant impact for the Business Partner.

In a 2022/23 pilot competition, a total of 129 projects were funded. The range of projects was diverse – from bilingual communications tools to on-farm carbon capture – representing all kinds of businesses and third-sector organisations from right across the UK. You can find out more about the AKT2i Pilot scheme and its impact, here.

*UK Higher Education (HE), Further Education (FE) institution, Research Organisation (RTO) or Catapult.


Business growth, resilience and sustainability relies on improving productivity and creating faster pathways to innovation. This often requires an input of new knowledge, skills and fresh thinking.

Innovate UK – Accelerated Knowledge Transfer is designed to build an intensive partnership with a specialist academic team to deliver a short, and targeted intervention (two to four months) to accelerate the evaluation or development of an innovation project or concept, which has the potential for significant impact for the Business Partner.

Accelerating Innovation

The value of business-academic collaboration is successfully evidenced by Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme, which has been delivering positive impacts for businesses for nearly 50 years. As a deep dive approach, KTP is ideal for businesses with a clear, strategic challenge. But for many, particularly SMEs, the real challenge can be identifying the barriers – and solutions – to open innovation, greater productivity, and agency.

For these businesses, a shorter term, more rapid intervention can be the ideal solution. Innovate UK – Accelerated Knowledge Transfer, based on the successful partnership model of KTP, creates a more intensive collaboration that rapidly transfers new knowledge and creates a framework to help business teams:

  • Identify innovation blockers
  • Evaluate an innovation concept
  • Find solutions to immediate as well as longer term challenges
  • Accelerate new thinking and processes
  • Develop new business models and expand capacity.

  • Competition date: September 2022
  • Status: Closed – Complete

Find out more.

  • Competition date: 6 November – 13 December 2023
  • Status: Closed – Post-Award

Competition Details

The most recent competition round closed on 13 December 2023. A total of £4.5m was available to support this round.

Watch the competition briefing webinar here and download the webinar Q&As here.

Competition Guidance

Watch the grant administration webinar below. You can also access other guidance to help you administer your AKT grant.

Competition Guidance

Competition FAQ

Cost Guidance

Sample Terms & Conditions

Grant Administration Guidance

Grant Admin Flowchart

Grant Admin FAQ

  • Competition date: 1 – 31 July 2024
  • Status: Live – Competition

Competition Details

The upcoming competition AKT round 3 opens on 1 July 2024 and closes on 31 July 2024 at 11am. A total of £1m is available to support this round.

Watch the competition briefing webinar here.

what they say

Chirine Riachy, PhD
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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)
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

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

David Beattie
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

“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
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

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

KTP Associate, Cosmotec Ltd and University of Salford
Professor Yvonne Perrie
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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
Accelerated Knowledge Transfer

"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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