What can KTP offer my business?

If you have a strategic innovation idea for your business but do not have all the in-house expertise needed to develop it, a KTP or a Management KTP may be the perfect solution. Our Knowledge Transfer Advisers explain why in this video

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can help your business:

  • Embed expertise, generate new knowledge, expand capability and foster a culture of innovation
  • Drive competitive advantage through accelerated innovation and the possibility of creating Intellectual Property
  • Gain privileged and cost-effective access to the UK’s world-class knowledge base and resources
  • Increase revenue/profits through access to new markets, new product development, increased productivity and better processes
  • Benefit from the strategic input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser.

The new Management KTP works in the same way as a KTP, only the partnership is focused specifically on delivering human-centred and/or technology-enabled, strategic change.

If you think a KTP or Management KTP could help take forward strategic innovation in your business:

  • Read more in the tabs below
  • Check out the eligibility criteria here 
  • To progress your interest, contact one of Innovate UK Business Connect’s specialist Knowledge Transfer Advisers who can assess your project and help you every stage of the way.

Already involved in KTP?

We are here to help support your KTP activities and any publicity you may be planning around your project.

  • For any publicity around your KTP, please see our brand toolkit here
  • Request a quote from your Knowledge Transfer Adviser for a press release here
  • Keep in touch to share your stories with us here
  • If you’re interested in submitting a case study, contact your KTA here.

KTP for Business

Part of the cost of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership is funded by a grant from Innovate UK or other government co-funders that you apply for in a competitive bid for submissions (there is a success rate for applications of around 90%). The remainder of the project cost is met through a cash payment by your organisation.

Project costs are variable, but can typically be around £80,000 –  £100,000 per project year. For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the grant rate is 67% of the project cost; for large companies 50%; and for third sector organisations the grant rate is 75%.

The cost of a KTP is comparable to employing a well-qualified graduate, but includes so much more:

  • Access to the exceptional resources of the university
  • A dedicated team to deliver a strategic project
  • Expert academic input bringing a breadth and depth of knowledge to support the graduate and the project
  • The input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser who is there at every stage to support and help the project succeed
  • The partnership introduces new capabilities and embeds knowledge
  • The risk of developing the innovation project is shared with the government co-funders
  • The wider support and opportunities offered by links to Innovate UK Business Connect.

Need to know:

To apply for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership companies should:

  • Be UK registered and of sufficient size to support the project.
  • Have the financial capacity to make the required contribution to the 
cost of running a Knowledge Transfer Partnership
  • Be aware that Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can have a long-term legacy that can be measured over five years, as well as shorter term impact.
  • Be able to show that their project demonstrates Impact, Innovation, Challenge and Cohesiveness

Find out more about the eligibility criteria for KTP here.

Businesses of any size and in any sector, including virtual UK based businesses and third sector organisations, can apply for a KTP (Public sector organisations can apply for Management KTP only.)

Please see the eligibility criteria here.

Some guidelines and pre-requisites if you’re wondering whether KTP is right for you. You’ll need:

The right people & culture

  • Buy in and direction from senior management
  • A strategic business ambition / plan towards growth through innovation
  • Enough relevant employees to embed the knowledge and exploit it
  • Key personnel with enough time to support the KTP
  • A commitment to partnership working, collaboration and growing talent
  • Rapport … it’s a journey lasting several years.

The business requisites:

  • Financially robust & able to afford the growth resulting from the KTP
  • A stable trading position (core business with capacity to grow)
  • Sufficient staff to ensure absorptive capacity and adequate supervision
  • Adequate offices / facilities

Innovate UK Business Connect provides local experts called Knowledge Transfer Advisers to help you every step of the way.:

  • Assessing the feasibility of your idea and helping you scope out and cost the project 
  • Supporting your grant application 
  • Providing mentoring, coaching and professional development to your Associate 
  • Delivering expert advice and guidance to the Project team to ensure all three partners achieve their objectives 
  • Working with you throughout the lifetime of your KTP to shape, manage and deliver it on time 
  • Accessing colleagues elsewhere in the innovation ecosystem to help fully exploit the project’s potential. 

Once you have had your grant application approved (nearly 90% of applications are successful), the university or research organisation will recruit a suitably qualified graduate (known as the Associate), usually with a Master’s or PhD, to work on the project, based at your company.

The Associate will be the conduit for change, transferring and implementing the knowledge generated and providing feedback from you to the academic partner, who will devote 0.5 days per week to your project.

Your Knowledge Transfer Adviser will visit every 3 – 4 months to provide ongoing support to you, and coaching and mentoring support to the Associate. They can access colleagues elsewhere in the network to help your business fully exploit the project.

The length of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships varies from 12 – 36 months, depending on the nature of the project and the requirements of your business.

Innovate UK Business Connect is a partner of Innovate UK, supporting businesses to innovate and grow. Innovate UK Business Connect provides specialist support via Knowledge Transfer Advisers to access, apply for and succeed in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Knowledge Transfer Advisers  are central to the success of these dynamic partnerships. With extensive experience of research and industry, they are a source of independent expert advice, passionate about delivering success for businesses and attracting high-quality graduates to industry via Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

Knowledge Transfer Advisers are there every step of the way to help set up and manage your unique KTP collaboration between your business,  a university/research organisation and a suitably qualified graduate (the Associate).

Find out more about the role KTAs play in supporting your project; and find your nearest KTA here.


In the first instance, you should talk to a Knowledge Transfer Adviser who can answer all your questions about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, checking the feasibility of your idea and its suitability for funding. Advisers can then help find an academic partner and draw up a grant application with you.

Locate and contact your local Knowledge Transfer Adviser on our map of KTA locations or from the list here.

what they say

Chirine Riachy, PhD

"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

"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
Paul Graham

"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


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