What are KTPs?
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP’s) have been helping UK businesses innovate for growth for over 45 years. They create dynamic connections between businesses and a university to deliver strategic innovation projects lasting between 12 to 36 months.
KTPs are collaborative, three-way projects between:
- A Business
- A University
- A high-calibre Graduate or post-graduate (known as the Associate)
A suitably qualified graduate (known as the Associate) leads the strategic project. They are employed by the university to work full-time in the organisation and the three-way partnership embeds vital new expertise into the business, supporting it to realise positive, transformational change and growth.
KTP projects are overseen by an external Knowledge Transfer Adviser from Innovate UK for the duration of the project. They offer independent expert advice and are passionate about delivering positive change for KTP partners. They help at every stage of the KTP journey from advising on a project’s suitability for funding, right through to assessing its impact, post-project.
Introducing the value of KTPs
Linette Wallace, Business Development Officer and KTP Academic Supervisor
What is a KTP and how it can benefit each of the stakeholders.
Watch time: 2 minutes
Our knowledgable team are with you every step of the way, providing expert advice and support whenever you need it
Academic supervision & support
The University will devote 0.5 days per week to your project and supervise the Associate for the length of the project. They will attend monthly meetings with the company to ensure the project is being steered well and deliverables are being achieved.
The Knowledge Transfer Adviser will also 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.
KTP benefits to business
KTPs help you gain competitive advantage and ultimately improve profitability through:
- Access to highly qualified and motivated graduates
- Links to university expertise
- Innovative solutions to help your business grow
- Ideas to help develop your company for today’s markets
- Investment in research and development
- KTPs are eligible for R&D tax credits
Innovate UK part-fund the cost of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project. Project costs are variable, but typically range between £80,000 - £100,000 annually. The cost of a KTP to the company, is comparable to employing a well-qualified graduate, but includes so much more. The grant rate from Innovate UK is:
Charities = 75% funded
SMEs = 67% funded
Public Sector = 50% funded
Large Organisations = 50% funded
The remainder of the project cost is met through a cash payment by your company which can be invoiced either monthly or quarterly.
The KTP Process
We'll work with you to identify the right team for your project amongst our academics. Together, we'll then recruit a high-calibre postgraduate who will be based at your company as a KTP Associate and who will manage the project.
They'll have weekly catchups with our academics to ensure the project remains on-track, a senior contact in your company will be involved throughout to ensure commercial focus and there will be regular meetings throughout the project for the project team.
Understanding the KTP process
Contact us with your business query to see how KTPs can drive development, innovation or the adoption of new technologies within your business.
Meet with our team to discuss research and match expertise to your project.
KTPs have avenues of funding that we can help to match to your project and assist with developing a funding application.
We will help you to recruit a high-calibre graduate or post-graduate who will be based at your business and will be your KTP associate responsible for managing the KTP project.
Projects run for a duration of one to three years and are supported by the KTP team throughout. We’ll help you to schedule regular review meetings with Innovate UK, your academic and your senior business contact to ensure the success of your project.
Rest assured you will be fully supported throughout your KTP. On completion we will help you explore further opportunities to get the most from your efforts.
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Here you’ll find a list of frequently asked questions. If, however, you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please get in touch and our team will endeavour to assist.
The Company Partner and the Knowledge Base (Bishop Grosseteste University) are jointly responsible for the submission, although the University will submit the application to Innovate UK. Working together enables both parties to identify the aims and objectives of the project and take joint responsibility from the conception of the project to its execution.
KTP applications are submitted into competition rounds and assessed nationally every few months. If successful, Innovate UK will offer and award a grant. Whilst not exhaustive, a successful KTP application will be able to describe:
- what strategic needs will be addressed?
- how the company can realise positive, transformational change and growth?
- the reasons why a KTP partnership is necessary, what additionality will the University provide?
- what new capabilities will be developed and embedded?
- the predicted benefits to all parties?
Benefits typically include: - increased turnover and profit, teaching and research outputs and experience and development opportunities for the Associate.
In addition to the innovation led ‘classic’ KTP, the new management KTP (mKTP) focuses on productivity improvements and change management through new management systems and business processes. However, the application and assessment criteria are broadly the same.
The application process for KTPs is thorough and we recommend allowing at least 2 months in co-writing the application. There is support throughout the process and the application form involves input from the business, the academics, the KTP office and the KTP adviser.
Once an application has been submitted, it takes approximately 2 months until a decision from Innovate UK is made. If the application is successful in gaining funding, we recommend allowing another 3 months to recruit a high-quality graduate.
The timeline for starting a KTP project, from initial conversations to having a KTP Associate start at the company, will typically take 9-12 months.
Companies are typically invoiced by the Knowledge Base on a quarterly basis. However, if it is easier for the company, we can send a monthly invoice.
Bishop Grosseteste University will manage the recruitment process and work closely with the business to recruit an Associate who is both technically capable and a good fit for the company’s culture.
The University will also handle any visa requirements if necessary for international candidates.
An agreement between the Company Partner and Bishop Grosseteste University covering confidentiality, Intellectual Property Rights and other such issues is signed at the beginning of the project.
Sometimes credits can be gained from activity directly related to the government's definition of 'R&D'. The aim of this 'R&D' is to extend scientific knowledge and understanding overall - not just new capability for the business so certain parts of a KTP project could be eligible. If businesses are considering claiming R&D Tax Credits, we would recommend that they discuss the detail with their local tax office or accountant.