Innovate UK has recently revealed the University of Essex as the leading institution for active Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) in the UK. This is an outstanding achievement, topping the table for the first time, Essex has fast become the partner of choice for businesses looking to innovate across both the East of England and London and now the UK, with 40 KTPs and £10.2m secured in funding to support their delivery.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are available to all businesses, large or small, and empower them to innovate and grow through collaboration with leading university academics and newly hired talented researchers.

With the aim to drive productivity and economic growth, KTPs help businesses to develop new products, processes, and services through the use of the knowledge, technology, and skills generated by the University. Importantly, they also offer access to funding grants from Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency that’s part of UK Research and Innovation.

At Essex, all KTPs receive dedicated support from the University’s Business Engagement team, part of the Research and Enterprise Office, who have helped propel Essex to the top of the table for KTPs in the UK. In addition to the 40 active KTPs, to date the team has successfully completed 55 KTPs to the value of around £9m and formed 114 associate projects for  20 years in KTP. 

Holly Leonard, KTP Manager at the University of Essex comments: 

“At Essex, we’re proud to be leading the way in delivering world-class Knowledge Transfer Partnerships that are having a huge commercial impact on businesses not only across Essex but also the UK. Our successful climb to the top spot for KTPs comes as more companies than ever look to collaborate with Essex. Our academics are passionate about applying their cutting-edge research to real-world challenges to create new products, processes, and services.”

“We help guide businesses through the entire Knowledge Transfer Partnership process from start to finish and have a sector-leading track record at winning funding. All of our projects are commercially driven and underpinned by academic expertise – the ethos at the very core of our team is to make engagement and partnership with Essex seamless and easy.”

Professor Chris Greer, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research adds: 

“We pride ourselves at Essex on world-class research, enterprise, and knowledge exchange. With real purpose and impact, our researchers can find solutions to meet any business challenges brought to us through the KTP Programme, and our links with industry partners will continue to help us break boundaries.”

“Recently we’ve seen more KTPs than ever focusing on health and enablement through technology and our new Institute for Public Health and Wellbeing, launching in February 2022, will play a huge role in helping take on the health challenges we face.”

Knowledge Transfer Adviser, Jan Stringer at KTN, who was equally delighted with the outcome said: 

“The University of Essex was designated to me in 2005, and at that time had only ever had 4 KTPs approved over the 30 years the scheme had been running. I am so proud to have been part of the Universities spectacular growth since then, I personally have been involved in setting up and being part of the steering group of well over half the 114 projects Essex have had approved- with an impressive funding success rate of 86% – this has been achieved through joint strategic planning, the fabulous foresight and endorsement of their Vice-Chancellor, Anthony Forster and his Senior Leadership Team, the outstanding academics and Research and Enterprise Department, Heads of Schools and of course the focus, energy, and skill of  Rob Walker and his growing KTP Business Engagement team. This success is richly deserved and has been a real boost to the innovation investment and business success in the region- well-done team Essex! ” 

Natalie Cramp, CEO of Profusion Media – a data agency that specialises in predictive modelling, email marketing, business intelligence and customer satisfaction – who recently completed a KTP with Essex comments: 

“The University of Essex has been a crucial partner to Profusion and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Having professors accessible to us and being able to learn from the latest academic insights and take those into our services and products for clients has been really transformational.

“The relationship with Essex has blossomed far beyond the KTP and developed into a much deeper partnership. It’s one where we’ve launched new services together and we’ve been able to collaborate on commercial bids – so there have been more opportunities as a result of starting to build a relationship through a KTP.”

The three most recent partnerships to have secured funding demonstrate the wide range of businesses looking to use Essex expertise to innovate:

Shepherd Compello – a data science project revolutionising the management of risk in warranty provision.

Lewden Ltd – a supplier of high-end electrical components who will be redefining their digital strategy with Essex Business School and updating their business model.

Advent Insurance Management – a supplier of software services to the Lloyds of London insurance market looking to develop a sophisticated matching algorithm for their expert platform.

If you are looking to develop a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, or any other kind of funded collaboration with Essex contact the Business Engagement team today via or visit

About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are a dynamic three- way collaboration between a business or not for profit organisation, one of the UK’s world- class knowledge bases, and a suitably qualified graduate. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are funded by a grant to the university from Innovate UK and other government co-funders, and a cash contribution from the business involved. The programme is delivered by KTN, a network partner of Innovate UK.

Interested in learning more? Find out here.

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