Innovate UK has announced an extra £30 million of funding for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), which connect UK businesses with an academic or research organisation and qualified graduate to work on innovation projects.
It will allow significant expansion of the KTP programme. Currently, there are 630 graduates and post-doctoral researchers employed in KTPs. These include industrial research and development and entrepreneurial roles.
This funding comes from government’s National Productivity Investment Fund. It will help to build the pipeline of high-skilled research talent necessary for a growing innovation economy.
The investment was announced today at Innovate 2017.
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Businesses of all sizes
Businesses that have previously taken part in KTPs include Dyson, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Sainsbury’s and Unilever. Baby food brand, Ella’s Kitchen, has run 3 schemes, working with the University of Reading.
The majority of KTPs are made up of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - around 80% of all those run.
Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said:
Through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, businesses of all sizes are partnering with our world-leading academics and researchers to learn how new skills and thinking can increase their competitiveness and productivity, and this extra funding will ensure even more UK businesses continue to innovate and grow.
By putting science, research and innovation at the heart of our Industrial Strategy, and emphasising the benefits of commercialising research, we are building on our strengths in R&D and delivering benefits across the country.
Stimulating innovation and producing successful outcomes
Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive, said:
We are committing significantly more funding this year on KTPs. This enables an increase to the scheme, with additional KTPs becoming more closely aligned to Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund areas.
Companies that have used KTPs know their development value in bringing in excellent staff with cutting-edge academic knowledge. The current tried-and-tested model is widely recognised - and proven over 40 years of operation - for its excellence in stimulating innovation and producing successful outcomes.
There are many innovative companies, particularly SMEs, which could benefit from the academic mentoring that a KTP provides.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at Northumbria University