The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme allows a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation (which we will refer to collectively as the ‘business partner’ from now on) to partner with a UK higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, RTO or Catapult (which we will refer to as the ‘knowledge base partner’).

This partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. The knowledge base partner will recruit 1 or 2 graduates (known as ‘associates’) to work on the project.

Each application must be led by a knowledge base, working with a business partner.

Visit the KTP website to find out more about the programme and the current roles available for graduates.

Each KTP is a partnership between the following:

  • a UK knowledge base, acting as lead organisation and submitting the application
  • a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation

Your project can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on the project requirements.

KTP does not support projects with public sector organisations.

The knowledge base partner must lead the project and must be a UK registered higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, research technology organisation (RTO) or Catapult.

Business partners cannot work alone. They must develop the project with a knowledge base of their choice. We encourage business partners to approach knowledge bases directly.

To collaborate with the knowledge base, the business partner must be a UK registered business of any size, or a not-for-profit organisation, and have more than 2 employees.

We will consider partially funding project costs of any amount if we judge the costs to be appropriate. Typically, projects cost about £75,000 per year, and usually Innovate UK and its supporters fund projects at 67% of eligible project costs for a project partnering with a micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and 50% of eligible project costs for a project partnering with large businesses.

In addition to the financial support, you may also request any of the following UKRI Research councils to support your project:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Economic and Social Research Council
  • Medical Research Council
  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council

Each knowledge base can collaborate on any number of applications.

Each business partner (including separate businesses within a business group) can take part in up to 4 KTP funded projects at any one time.

Projects that can be funded

Your application must be for a specific, strategic innovation project that tackles one or more challenges faced by the business partner.

Your application can be for any kind of project. It must show:

  • how it helps the business with a real need
  • how it fits the strategic aims of the business partner
  • there is a genuine market opportunity and route to market
  • how the knowledge gained will be embedded within the business partner
  • what makes this approach innovative

Management KTPs (MKTPs) focus on increasing effectiveness and improving productivity through better management practices. They create a partnership with a UK business school or academics that can demonstrate how their experience relates to management practice.

Knowledge Transfer Advisers are available to help you with your application and your project. Click here to find the Knowledge Transfer Adviser for your area.