Welcome to a series of blogs and vlogs designed to help you better understand Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (MKTPs).

Management KTPs are a funding opportunity aimed at helping UK businesses improve the way they work.

They are built on the highly successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership model – the UK’s longest running knowledge exchange programme which has helped more than 14,000 businesses innovate for growth.

Like KTPs, Management KTP’s link you in a collaborative partnership with specialist academics who have the know-how to help you transform the way your business operates. 

In this V/blog (one in a series – see links to others below), Knowledge Transfer Adviser, Lorna Howarth interviews KTP Associate, Gordon Jack, about his role as a change agent on his Management KTP with specialist glass company, IPIG.

Register here for our Management KTP Webinar, 10-11.30 on Tuesday 27 April


Behind every successful collaboration is a team of great people. A Management KTP comprises academic experts from world class Knowledge Bases who form a partnership with the senior leadership team of a business. The glue that cements this relationship is the KTP Associate. Today we’re going to explore exactly who a Management KTP Associate is and what they can offer. 

My name is Lorna Howarth, and I am one of 31 Knowledge Transfer Advisers at KTN who support KTP and MKTPs.  I feel very privileged as I am both a coach and a mentor to many Associates which gives me a powerful insight into who these wonderful people are. 

What are the characteristics of a Management KTP Associate?

  • Qualified to a high level, with an impressive CV and highly relevant credentials
  • Determined, driven, motivated and enthusiastic
  • Efficient communicators 
  • Sensitive to company culture and confident enough to manage culture change

But don’t take my word for it! I’d like to introduce you to Gordon Jack who has been working on a MKTP project for around 18 months with University of the West of Scotland and the company IPIG

LORNA: Gordon, first of all could you tell me a little bit about your pre-KTP background? 

GORDON: Thank you, Lorna. So a quick potted history:  I completed my honours degree in Building Surveying in 2012 going on to do a MSc in Strategic Project Management in 2013 and then got a PhD scholarship.  When I graduated in November 2018, I was quite committed to leaving academia, but to do what exactly was the main challenge. But then KTP was introduced to me and I was advised to apply.  It sounded like the perfect bridge between academia and “the real world”.

LORNA: Thank you – sounds like you had a unique blend of construction and  project management knowledge. Can you tell me a little bit about your role at IPIG and why your skill set was a perfect fit for this position as a MKTP associate? 

GORDON: This MKTP responds to IPIG’s need for a bespoke marketing and business process provision that is embedded within the organisation to advance its growth and sustainability.  Although my background doesn’t exclusively focus on either marketing or business process my diverse academic experience has given me a transferable skill set which matched well with what IPIG was looking for.  The academic support provided as part of the KTP framework really comes into its own for the specialist knowledge needed, and this has been invaluable to the project and my own personal development as well.

LORNA: It sounds like IPIG is a company that is really growing which must present some real opportunities as well as some specific challenges. I understand that you are responsible for driving a change management project. Can you tell me a little more about what this has entailed? 

GORDON: Sure.  With this project, everything has been about change, and within such a small company, you need to bring people on that journey with you to be successful.  During the project, the needs of the business routinely take over, with the associate expected, and naturally eager, to take on more to advance their learning and commercial awareness.  There is flexibility in the workplan to accommodate for this, and  I am there to champion and drive everything change-related within the business whilst bringing everyone along with me.

LORNA: A big part of KTP is embedding new knowledge into a company that leaves a lasting legacy. For example, a new capability. Can you describe some of the differences you feel you have made since you started your MKTP? 

GORDON: One of the greatest challenges with SMEs and working alongside company founders can be the lack of willingness to change. But by engaging in a MKTP, there is obviously a willingness to embrace change. Involving people at all levels throughout the organisation has been key to get buy-in for the changes I have been implementing.Some of these measures include implementing new data management processes which drive efficiencies, introduction of functional business system tools, rebranding, digital marketing and inhouse measures that reward and recognise the importance of our staff.

LORNA: We consider our KTP Associates to be the leaders of the future; on a final note, what are your aspirations for the future? 

GORDON: As a result of my MKTP experience I am now unwaveringly certain that I will be a senior business leader in the future, operating my own outstanding company. I have seen first-hand the benefits of having someone with an academic pedigree driving change within the business and how transformative this can be if positioned right. Whatever the future has in store for me, I am excited for the challenges it brings with it. 

LORNA: Gordon, I’m sure that you have an exciting journey ahead and that IPIG will reap significant benefits from the knowledge that you have transferred and embedded during the course of your MKTP. Thank you again for agreeing to chat with me today.

If being a MKTP Associate is something that anyone watching/reading would like to do, then find out more about the role here and check out our Jobs pages for details of all of our vacancies. 


Interested in finding out more about MKTP?

  • Register here for our Management KTP Webinar, 10-11.30 on Tuesday 27 April
  • Find out more about MKTP on our webpage
  • Locate and contact your nearest Knowledge Transfer Adviser to discuss your idea

This is one in a series of V/blogs about Management KTP

Mark Lynch: Introducing MKTP

Mark Lynch: How does Management KTP Funding work

Jan Stringer: The benefits of Academic Collaboration

Jim Berryman:What are MKTPs for?

Fiona Nightingale: Why Now is the time to engage in Management KTP

Dr Lorna Howarth and Dr Gordon Jack: Interview Management KTP Associate Dr Gordon Jack, IPIG LTD

Prof David Bamford (Manchester Metropolitan University): Why Academics should engage in MKTP


Use Management KTP to:

  • Access deep knowledge to solve key strategic challenges
  • Apply fresh thinking to transform a wide range business activities 
  • Create business-wide change to increase productivity, adaptability and resilience
  • Introduce a culture of innovation for lasting, positive change.

Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are funded by the UK Government Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy through Innovate UK and delivered by KTN in partnership with Knowledge Bases.



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