What can KTP offer my business?

If you have an 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

Our guide + PDF brochure download tells you more about how your company could benefit from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

The new Management KTP works in the same way as a KTP and has a specific focus on management based projects, linking you with one of the UK’s business schools.

Got an idea and want to discuss whether a KTP or Management KTP could help take it forward? Contact a Knowledge Transfer Adviser here who can help assess your project idea and help you every stage of the way.

Want to enter the KTP Best of the Best Awards? Find out more here.


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 company.

Project costs are variable, but can typically be around £75,000 –  £90,000 per project year. For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the grant rate is 67% of the project cost and for large companies 50%.

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 consultancy 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 the Knowledge Transfer Network – one of Innovate UK’s delivery partners.

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

Organisations of any size and in any sector can benefit from a KTP.

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

The Knowledge Transfer Network provides local experts called Knowledge Transfer Advisers to help you every step of the way.

They are on hand throughout and will work with you from the very beginning right through the project:

  • checking the feasibility of your idea
  • helping you scope out and cost the project
  • finding an academic partner
  • helping with your grant application
  • working with you throughout the lifetime of the project to shape, manage and deliver it on time.

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. S/he 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.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is a partner of Innovate UK supporting businesses to innovate and grow. KTN provides specialist support via Knowledge Transfer Advisers to access, apply for and succeed in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Central to the success of these dynamic partnerships are Knowledge Transfer Advisers. 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 this unique three-way collaboration – between a business, a university/research organisation and a suitably qualified graduate (known as the Associate).


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

Phil Goddard

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships were not really on my radar but when I found out more about them I realized it was the precise mechanism we needed to realize our innovation goals.  It has transformed our business, taking us in to new markets and bringing in fresh thinking and capability which has made us much better able to develop the kind of ideas which will expand our business for years to come.” 

CEO, CSols Ltd


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