Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: what they are and how to apply

How to improve your business's competitiveness and productivity through funded partnerships with universities and colleges.


The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project.

Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The academic institution employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, brings new skills and knowledge to the business.

A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies.

2016/17 close dates for submission are:

  • 2 November 2016
  • 18 January 2017
  • 8 March 2017

The benefits of taking part in a KTP

  • businesses achieve an average increase in annual profit of more than £1 million after taking part. They also create around 2 new jobs
  • academic partners produce on average more than 3 new research projects and 2 research papers for each project
  • around 60% of associates are offered a permanent job in the company when the project ends

Find out if you’re eligible to apply for innovation funding

  • you can apply as a business if you are a company of any size or a not-for-profit organisation
  • you can apply as an academic partner if you are a university, college or research technology organisation
  • you can apply as an associate if you are a high-calibre recent graduate. You must have the knowledge and skills to lead an innovative and strategic business project

KTP for businesses

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

A KTP is part-funded by a grant. You will need to contribute to the cost of the supervisor and the salary of the associate. 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 business, you will need to contribute a third of the costs. The average annual contribution to a project for an SME is around £23,000.

Large companies

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 £30,000.

Get advice on taking part in a KTP

If you already have a working relationship with a university, you should contact them. Otherwise, you should get in touch with your local KTP 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.

Northern Irish firm Macrete benefited from taking part in a KTP.

KTP for academics

Contact the KTP office at your university to find out how to take part. They will work with you and the business to scope out the project. They will also help you with your 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. Taking part can help your career and often leads to a permanent job.

You should contact the KTP office at your university to find out how to take part. You can also find adverts for the latest KTP vacancies online and in:

  • university departments
  • career offices
  • recruitment websites
  • local newspapers
Knowledge Transfer Partnership

KTP regional offices

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

Cambridge, University of

Canterbury Christ Church University

Chester, University of

Chichester, University of

City University

Cornwall College

Coventry University

Cranfield University

Creative Arts, University for the

Cumbria, University of

De Montfort University

Derby, University of

Durham, University of

Edge Hill, University of

Essex, The University of

Exeter, University of

Gloucestershire, University of

Goldsmiths, University of London

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 Moore 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

Newcastle University

Norwich School of Art & Design

  • post vacant

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

Royal Holloway, University of London

Royal Veterinary College

Salford, University of

Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield, The University of

South Devon College

Southampton, University of

Southampton Solent University

Staffordshire University

Sunderland, University of

Surrey, University of

Sussex, University of

Teesside, University of

University College London

University of Central England in Birmingham

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 University

Deeside College

University of South Wales

Glyndwr University

Gower College Swansea

Llandrillo, Coleg Cymru

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Swansea University

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Wrexham, Yale College of

KTP regional offices - Scotland

East of Scotland KTP Centre

North of Scotland KTP Centre

Tayside KTP Centre

West of Scotland KTP Centre

KTP regional offices - Northern Ireland

Belfast, Queen’s University

Ulster, University of

KTP advisers

KTP 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

KTP advisers - East of England

Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire

Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and London East/Central

KTP advisers - North West

Merseyside and West Cheshire

South East Cheshire

Lancashire and Cumbria

Manchester, North Cheshire and Warrington

KTP advisers - West Midlands

Shropshire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire

Warwickshire and surrounding areas of South Midlands and Birmingham

KTP advisers - North East

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

KTP advisers - Yorkshire and the Humber

North and West Yorkshire, Durham

Humberside, South Yorkshire and East Yorkshire

KTP advisers - East Midlands

Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland

KTP advisers - South West

Dorset and Wiltshire

Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Exeter


KTP advisers - Wales

South East and Mid Wales

North Wales

KTP advisers - Scotland

West Scotland

East Scotland

North Scotland

KTP advisers - Northern Ireland