Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: what they are and how to apply

You can improve your business' competitiveness and productivity through funded partnerships with academics and researchers.

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.

A KTP enables a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.

The academic or research organisation partner will help to recruit a suitable graduate, known as an Associate. They will act as the employer of the graduate, who then works at the company for the duration.

The scheme can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on what the project is and the needs of the business.

Ella’s Kitchen: transforming the organic baby food market

Who can take part

Each KTP is a 3-way partnership between:

  • a UK-based business of any size or a not-for-profit organisation
  • an academic or research organisation. This could be a university, college or research and technology organisation in the UK
  • a suitably-qualified graduate, with the capability to lead a strategic business project

KTP for businesses

Taking part in a KTP can help you to develop your business. You can get academic expertise that you don’t have in-house. This can improve your business performance and help you to become more competitive and productive.

A KTP is part-funded by a grant. You will need to contribute to the salary of the Associate who will work with your business, plus the cost of a supervisor who will oversee the scheme.

The amount you will need to contribute depends on the scale and length of the project. It will also depend on the size of your company:

  • if you are a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), you will need to contribute a third of the costs. The average annual contribution to a project for an SME is around £30,000
  • if you are a larger business you may need to contribute half the cost. The average annual contribution to a project for a larger company is around £45,000

KTP for academic or research organisations

Academic partners who take part in a KTP produce on average more than 3 new research projects and 2 research papers for each project.

Most academic and research organisations will have a dedicated KTP office. These offices work with the business and academic partners who intend to collaborate together to scope out the project. They can also help with the application to Innovate UK.

KTP for graduates

KTP is one of the UK’s largest graduate recruitment programmes. There are over 300 job opportunities each year. It supports career development and often leads to a permanent job.

You can find opportunities at:

  • KTP vacancies online
  • an academic or research organisation’s dedicated KTP office
  • university departments
  • career offices
  • recruitment websites
  • local newspapers

How to apply

Before starting an application you should speak to your local KT (Knowledge Transfer) Adviser. They will check the feasibility of your idea and tell you if it is suitable. They can also help you find the right academic or researcher to work on your project.

A KTP application must be completed jointly by the prospective business and the academic or research organisation partner. It should include information about each of the participants, their objectives, the proposed tasks and deliverables for the Associate.

The completed application should be submitted by the academic or research organisation on behalf of the partnership, following agreement from the KT Adviser.

Find a KT Adviser.

What happens after you apply

Applications are assessed by an independent group of assessors. You will normally be notified of the outcome within 12 weeks or less of application.

If your partnership is successful you will be notified by your KT Adviser in the first instance. You will then receive a formal grant offer letter.

Once accepted this marks the point at which you can begin to recruit an Associate. Recruitment should be undertaken jointly by the academic organisation and business partner. The Associate’s contract of employment will be with the academic organisation.

You must recruit the most appropriate Associate for the work. Your KT Adviser or KTP office can advise.

Dates and deadlines

Our KTP programme 2017 to 2018 is being run in conjunction with Innovate UK’s sector and open competitions. There are opportunities in the 4 industry sector groups and open programme. You will need to choose the competition that is most closely aligned to your project.

Please note, KTPs have a much broader scope than sector competitions. Information will be provided in the competition brief. You should also speak to a KT Adviser if you are interested in applying.

New KTP opportunities will be posted here as they are announced.

Emerging and enabling technologies

Our emerging and enabling technologies sector aims to identify and speed up the development of new capabilities and technologies. These can lead to new products, processes and services in new industries, or improve productivity in existing areas.

Health and life sciences

In this sector we support advances in health and life sciences, including agri-food, to meet the challenges of a growing, ageing society and tackle the burden of treating diseases.

Infrastructure systems

New energy, transport and urban systems are needed to support an increasingly urbanised population and reduce carbon emissions. This sector funds projects that develop or improve infrastructure systems and delivers new innovative products, services and processes.

Manufacturing and materials

Manufacturing and materials underpin sectors such as aerospace, automotive, energy, transport and process industries. Our work in this sector involves supporting high-value activities in the UK through funding the most promising projects and giving access to the best skills, equipment and expertise.

Open programme

The open programme is open to any high-quality innovative ideas from all businesses. You can apply from any technology base or sector. Your project may also be at any research and development stage.

Open competition

  • opens 1 March 2018
  • closes 9 May 2018
KTP associate Lydia Chan in a meeting with colleagues at Renown's manufacturing facility.
KTP associate Lydia Chan in a meeting with colleagues at Renown's manufacturing facility.

Find and contact your local KT Adviser

KT Advisers - London and South East

East Sussex, Kent, Central and South London, West Sussex

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

North Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and London West / Central

Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and London North/Central

KT Advisers - East of England

Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire

Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and London East and Central

KT Advisers - South West

Dorset and Wiltshire

Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Exeter


KT Advisers - East Midlands

Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland

Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland

KT Advisers - West Midlands

Shropshire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire

Walsall and surrounding area

Warwickshire and surrounding areas of South Midlands and Birmingham

KT Advisers - North West

Merseyside and West Cheshire

Liverpool, East Lancashire and Salford

South East Cheshire

Lancashire and Cumbria

Manchester, North Cheshire and Warrington

KT Advisers - North East, Yorkshire and Humber

Northumberland, Tees Valley, Tyne and Wear, Durham and North and West Yorkshire

Durham and North and West Yorkshire

Humberside, South Yorkshire and East Yorkshire

KT Advisers - Scotland

West Scotland

East Scotland

North Scotland

KT Advisers - Wales

South, East and Mid Wales

North Wales

KT Advisers - Northern Ireland

Find and contact a KTP office

If you have any difficulty in reaching your KTP office contact Innovate UK’s customer support service or 0300 321 4357.

KTP regional offices – England

Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge Campus)

Aston University

Bath, University of

Bedfordshire, University of

Birkbeck, University of

Birmingham City University

Birmingham, The University of

Bishop Burton College

Bournemouth University

Bradford, University of

Brighton, University of

Bristol, University of

Brunel University London

Bucks New University

Cambridge, University of

Canterbury Christ Church University

Chester, University of

Chichester, University of

City, University of London

Cornwall College

Coventry University

Cranfield University

Creative Arts, University for the

Cumbria, University of

De Montfort University

Derby, University of

Durham, University of

East Anglia, University of

Edge Hill, University of

Essex, The University of

Exeter, University of

Gloucestershire, University of

Greenwich, University of

Harper Adams University

Hertfordshire, University of

Huddersfield, University of

Hull, The University of

Imperial College London

Keele University

Kent, University of

King’s College London

Kingston University

Lancaster University

Lancashire, University of Central

Leeds, University of

Leicester, University of

Leeds Beckett University

Lincoln, University of

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool, The University of

London Metropolitan University

London South Bank University

London, University of the Arts

Loughborough University

Manchester, The University of

Manchester Metropolitan University, The

Middlesex University

Myerscough College

Newcastle University

Northampton, The University of

Northumbria, University of (at Newcastle)

Nottingham Trent University, The

Nottingham, The University of

Open University, The

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford, University of

Pharmacy, The School of (University of London)

Plymouth, University of

Portsmouth, University of

Queen Mary , University of London

Reading, The University of

Reaseheath College

Royal Agricultural College

Royal College of Art - London

Salford, University of

Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield, The University of

Southampton, University of

Solent University

Staffordshire University

Suffolk, University of

Sunderland, University of

Surrey, University of

Sussex, University of

Teesside, University of

University College London

University of East London

University of the West of England

Warwick, University of

Westminster, University of

Wolverhampton, University of

Worcester, University of

York, The University of

KTP regional offices - Wales

Aberystwyth University

Barry College

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff University

Deeside College

University of South Wales

Glyndwr University

Gower College Swansea

Llandrillo, Coleg Cymru

Swansea University

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Wrexham, Yale College of

KTP regional offices - Scotland

East of Scotland KTP Centre

North of Scotland KTP Centre

University of Dundee

West of Scotland KTP Centre

KTP regional offices - Northern Ireland

Belfast, Queen’s University

Ulster, University of

Published 11 August 2015
Last updated 23 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated the contact details for the University of Hull's KTP office with new contact.
  2. New KT Adviser appointed to cover Liverpool, East Lancashire and Salford. Contact details have been added for Susan Suttle.
  3. The KT Adviser for North Scotland has changed to Ian Heywood. Information has been updated and contact details added.
  4. Updated average cost of a KTP to SMEs and larger businesses, which have increased slightly to £30,000 and £45,000 respectively.
  5. Change of email address to KTP contact and name of Brunel University London.
  6. Updated details with new KTP contact at the University of Worcester.
  7. Updated details for University of Sussex KTP contact.
  8. Updated latest dates and deadlines.
  9. Updated contact details for Nottingham Trent University.
  10. Added new KTP Adviser for Walsall and surrounding area.
  11. Updated dates and deadlines with new competitions.
  12. Added KTP contact for Myerscough College.
  13. Removed contact information of Royal Holloway, who no longer take part in KTPs. Updated Staffordshire University contact details.
  14. Updated contact details for Lancaster University and University of Lincoln.
  15. Updated competition dates and deadlines.
  16. Updated contact details for the University of Plymouth.
  17. Updated latest competition dates and deadlines.
  18. Updated details for University of Swansea contact.
  19. Updated Open University KTP office contact.
  20. Updated contact details for all KT Advisers. Added new sections on how to apply, what happens after you apply and dates and deadlines, which explain the application process in more detail and how KTPs align with Innovate UK's sector and open competitions for 2017 to 2018. Updated average amount a business is required to contribute in line with latest figures.
  21. Updated contact information for Cardiff Metropolitan University, City, University of London and the University of Leicester.
  22. Removed Royal Veterinary College and Goldsmiths, University of London from regional office contacts as they do not take part in KTPs.
  23. Updated details for University of Bath KTP contact.
  24. Updated KT contact for Merseyside and West Cheshire and North Wales.
  25. Added 'open programme round 3' and 'infrastructure systems round 3' to competitions.
  26. Updated KTP contact details for Keele University. Updated KTP Advisor contact for the North East.
  27. Updated the KTP contact for the University of Bedfordshire.
  28. Removed 'emerging and enabling technologies round 2' from live competitions. Updated contact details for University of Chichester and Birmingham City University.
  29. Added 'materials and manufacturing round 3' to KTP opportunities. Updated KTP case studies.
  30. Removed 'innovation in health and life sciences round 2' from live competitions.
  31. Added Bucks New University and University of Suffolk to KTP regional office list.
  32. Updated contact details for University of Northampton KTP office and added Ella's Kitchen video.
  33. Contact details updated for KTP offices at London South Bank University, Queen's University Belfast, University of Bradford, University of Reading and University of York.
  34. Updated close date information and telephone number for University of Derby KTP contact.
  35. Note added under KTP regional offices to contact Innovate UK customer service support with any problems in contacting local office.
  36. Updated details for the KTP contact at the University of Plymouth.
  37. Updated details for the KTP contact at the University of Cambridge and removed 2 universities no longer delivering KTPs.
  38. Added contact for University of East Anglia.
  39. Updated Estelle Hargraves' telephone number.
  40. Updated KTP contact at University of Sussex from Mike Wylde to Dr Richard Taylor.
  41. Removed January 18 2017 deadline.
  42. Updated KTP UCL contact from Claire Arbon to Kemil Thomas.
  43. Changed University of Gloucestershire contact details from Martyn Mangan to Jeannie Cohen-Brand.
  44. Removed 2 November 2016 deadline.
  45. Updated contact person for Nottingham Trent University from Kirsty Holt to Cate Brimblecombe-Clark
  46. Hull University KTP officer changed from Gill Sinclair to Bill Walker.
  47. Changed Bedfordshire University KTP contact from Denise Pasquet to Julia Brady
  48. Removed 7 September 2016 close date because it has now passed.
  49. Stephen Woodhouse is no longer responsible for Oxfordshire. Gerry O'Hagan is now responsible for Oxfordshire.
  50. Removed Sue Wale from Buckinghamshire New University as she has now left.
  51. Removed 6 July 2016 deadline.
  52. Updated KTP adviser details: removed Dr Gillian Rysiecki as she has retired
  53. Dorset and Wiltshire contact details updated
  54. Added contact details for Worcester University
  55. 2017 close dates for submission added
  56. Updated contact for Portsmouth University
  57. Change to Bradford and Leeds contact details
  58. Contact details added for Queen Mary University of London
  59. Updated contact details
  60. Contact details updated
  61. Applications now have different limits.
  62. Updated contact details
  63. Updated email addresses
  64. Contact details updated
  65. Contact updated
  66. Updated contact details
  67. Contact details updated
  68. Contact details updated
  69. Updated contact details
  70. Updated contact details
  71. Contact details updated
  72. Contact details change
  73. First published.