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. You can find out more about working as a KTP Associate and see the latest vacancies here.

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.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership success story: Qioptiq

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, research organisation or Catapult. 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. Typically:

  • small and medium-sized enterprises contribute around £35,000 per year, about one-third of the project costs
  • large businesses contribute around £55,000 per year, or half of the project costs

KTP for academic, research organisations or Catapult

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, research organisations and Catapults 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 for graduates to lead KTP projects, working as a KTP Associate. The programme supports career development (every Associate is given a training and development budget) and often leads to a permanent job.

You can find opportunities at:

Find out more about the unique opportunities of working as a KTP Associate and see the latest KTP Associate vacancies here.

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.

How to apply

There are 2 main routes to applying for a KTP as a business.

Via a Knowledge Transfer Adviser

If you’re interested in taking part in a KTP but don’t already have a university partner, you should contact your local Knowledge Transfer Adviser. They will:

  • check the feasibility of your idea and tell you if it is suitable
  • find the right academic or researcher to work on your project

Via the academic or research organisation

If you already have a partnership with an academic or research organisation or know who you would like to work with on a KTP, you should go via that organisation’s KTP office.

Submitting an application

A KTP application must be completed jointly by the prospective business and the academic or research organisation partner, with the agreement of a Knowledge Transfer Adviser.

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. They will have access to a KTP applicants site where they will be able to do this.

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 Knowledge Transfer Adviser or KTP office can advise.

Dates and deadlines

Our KTP programme 2019 to 2020 is run continuously throughout the year. This table contains the full list of open and close dates.

Open date Close date
12 December 2019 BEIS mKTP only 19 February 2020
12 December 2019 4 March 2020
5 March 2020 6 May 2020
7 May 2020 15 July 2020
16 July 2020 7 October 2020
8 October 2020 2 December
3 December 2020 3 February 2021

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

Hertfordshire and London North and Central

Berkshire, Surrey and London West and Central

Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and London North and Central

KT Advisers - East of England

Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and London North/Central

Essex, Suffolk and London East

Norfolk and London Central

KT Advisers - South West

Dorset and Wiltshire

Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Exeter


KT Advisers - East Midlands

North and West Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire

Leicestershire and Rutland, North and West Northamptonshire

East and South Northamptonshire

KT Advisers - West Midlands

Shropshire, Staffordshire and South East Cheshire

Gloucestershire, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Worcester, Shropshire and the Black Country

Birmingham, Coventry and surrounding areas including Warwickshire parts of Worcestershire and South Midlands

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

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

West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and the Humber

South Yorkshire and surrounding areas

KT Advisers - Scotland

West Scotland

East Scotland

Tayside and Fife

North Scotland

KT Advisers - Wales

South, East and Mid Wales

North Wales

KT Advisers - Northern Ireland

Find a KTP contact at your local university, college or catapult

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

Buckinghamshire 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

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

  • Blessing Mukonoweshuro 0113 343 2168 or Laura Dugdale - 0113 343 0928 -

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

London, University of West

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

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

Roehampton, University of

Royal Holloway and Bedford New 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

London, University of East

University of the West of England

Warwick, University of

Westminster, University of

Wolverhampton, University of

Worcester, University of

York St John University

York, The University of

KTP regional offices - Wales

Aberystwyth University

Barry College

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff University

Deeside College

University of South Wales

Wrexham 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 the West of Scotland

West of Scotland KTP Centre

KTP regional offices - Northern Ireland

Belfast, Queen’s University

Ulster, University of

Published 11 August 2015
Last updated 3 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated contact details for University of Reading, University of Cambridge and University of Southampton.

  2. Added information in opening KTP for Graduates section

  3. Updated contact details for Northern Ireland and Manchester, North Cheshire and Warrington

  4. Updated contact details for The University of York and the University of Westminster.

  5. Multiple contact changes made.

  6. Updated contact details for the University of Kent. Updated Dates and Deadlines table. Updated 'Who Can Take Part' section to include Catapults. Updated URL for KTP Graduates. Added contact details for KTP advisor at University of Roehampton.

  7. Updated contact details for The Open University

  8. Updated contact details for KTP University of Southampton & Updated contact details for KTP University of Leeds

  9. Changed contact details for KTP England with De Montfort University contact details. Updated link under KTP for graduates heading.

  10. New contact information for Buckinghamshire New University added.

  11. Updated opening and closing dates for application for the rest of the 2019 to 2020 finacial year.

  12. Updated contact information for Canterbury Christchurch, Anglia Ruskin and Hull universities.

  13. Removal of a University contact detail

  14. Updated KTP contact for University of Gloucestershire.

  15. Updated KTP contacts for UWE, Gloucester, Norfolk and London Central, and Essex, Suffolk and London East.

  16. Updated contact details for Nottingham Trent University.

  17. Updated Warwick KTP advisor to Grace Prewitt.

  18. Added Sophie O’Callaghan as the University of Exeter's new KTP contact.

  19. Updated contact details for Imperial College London.

  20. Added the contact of details for the new KT Adviser for Hertfordshire and London North and Central. Updated contact details for Berkshire, Surrey and London West and Central.

  21. Changed KTP competition schedule from 2018-19 to 2019-20.

  22. Corrected the dates and deadlines for the next round of KTP applications, which will run from 7 February 2019 to 3 April 2019. Clarified information about submitting a KTP application. This should be done by the academic or research organisation via a dedicated website that only they will have access to.

  23. There is a new KTP contact at Newcastle University. Updated details.

  24. Added a video featuring Qioptiq, a photonics company that undertook a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Cardiff Business School. This helped Qioptiq to secure an £82 million contract with the Ministry of Defence.

  25. John Clayton has joined as a KT Adviser for Northumberland, Tees Valley, Tyne and Wear, Durham and North West and North Yorkshire. Added contact information.

  26. Updated the KTP contact details for the University of Liverpool and University of Warwick.

  27. Name change for the KTP contact at UCLAN.

  28. The email address for the KTP office at University College London has changed to Updated details.

  29. There is a new KTP contact at De Montfort University, Tamara Meahan. Updated contact details.

  30. There is a new contact for the KTP office at the University of Cumbria. Updated contact details.

  31. There is a new KTP contact for the office at Keele University. Updated contact details.

  32. Updated the average cost of a KTP for small and medium-sized enterprises, and large businesses. These have increased slightly to £35,000 and £55,000 respectively.

  33. There is a new KTP contact at the University of Sheffield. Updated details.

  34. Updated the name and contact details for the KTP office at Wrexham Glyndwr University.

  35. KTP advisors list updated.

  36. There is a new KTP contact at Oxford Brookes University. Contact details updated.

  37. There are new contacts for the KTP offices of Aberystwyth University and University College London. Contact details have been updated.

  38. There is a new KT Adviser for Tayside and Fife, Lorna Howarth. Her contact details have been added.

  39. The format for KTPs for 2018 to 2019 has changed. The programme will be run continuously throughout the year. New date and deadlines have been added. Further clarification has been added on how to apply to outline for 2 possible routes for starting an application.

  40. There is a new contact for KTPs at Queen’s University Belfast. New contact details have been provided.

  41. Updated the contact details for the University of Hull's KTP office with new contact.

  42. New KT Adviser appointed to cover Liverpool, East Lancashire and Salford. Contact details have been added for Susan Suttle.

  43. The KT Adviser for North Scotland has changed to Ian Heywood. Information has been updated and contact details added.

  44. Updated average cost of a KTP to SMEs and larger businesses, which have increased slightly to £30,000 and £45,000 respectively.

  45. Change of email address to KTP contact and name of Brunel University London.

  46. Updated details with new KTP contact at the University of Worcester.

  47. Updated details for University of Sussex KTP contact.

  48. Updated latest dates and deadlines.

  49. Updated contact details for Nottingham Trent University.

  50. Added new KTP Adviser for Walsall and surrounding area.

  51. Updated dates and deadlines with new competitions.

  52. Added KTP contact for Myerscough College.

  53. Removed contact information of Royal Holloway, who no longer take part in KTPs. Updated Staffordshire University contact details.

  54. Updated contact details for Lancaster University and University of Lincoln.

  55. Updated competition dates and deadlines.

  56. Updated contact details for the University of Plymouth.

  57. Updated latest competition dates and deadlines.

  58. Updated details for University of Swansea contact.

  59. Updated Open University KTP office contact.

  60. 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.

  61. Updated contact information for Cardiff Metropolitan University, City, University of London and the University of Leicester.

  62. Removed Royal Veterinary College and Goldsmiths, University of London from regional office contacts as they do not take part in KTPs.

  63. Updated details for University of Bath KTP contact.

  64. Updated KT contact for Merseyside and West Cheshire and North Wales.

  65. Added 'open programme round 3' and 'infrastructure systems round 3' to competitions.

  66. Updated KTP contact details for Keele University. Updated KTP Advisor contact for the North East.

  67. Updated the KTP contact for the University of Bedfordshire.

  68. Removed 'emerging and enabling technologies round 2' from live competitions. Updated contact details for University of Chichester and Birmingham City University.

  69. Added 'materials and manufacturing round 3' to KTP opportunities. Updated KTP case studies.

  70. Removed 'innovation in health and life sciences round 2' from live competitions.

  71. Added Bucks New University and University of Suffolk to KTP regional office list.

  72. Updated contact details for University of Northampton KTP office and added Ella's Kitchen video.

  73. 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.

  74. Updated close date information and telephone number for University of Derby KTP contact.

  75. Note added under KTP regional offices to contact Innovate UK customer service support with any problems in contacting local office.

  76. Updated details for the KTP contact at the University of Plymouth.

  77. Updated details for the KTP contact at the University of Cambridge and removed 2 universities no longer delivering KTPs.

  78. Added contact for University of East Anglia.

  79. Updated Estelle Hargraves' telephone number.

  80. Updated KTP contact at University of Sussex from Mike Wylde to Dr Richard Taylor.

  81. Removed January 18 2017 deadline.

  82. Updated KTP UCL contact from Claire Arbon to Kemil Thomas.

  83. Changed University of Gloucestershire contact details from Martyn Mangan to Jeannie Cohen-Brand.

  84. Removed 2 November 2016 deadline.

  85. Updated contact person for Nottingham Trent University from Kirsty Holt to Cate Brimblecombe-Clark

  86. Hull University KTP officer changed from Gill Sinclair to Bill Walker.

  87. Changed Bedfordshire University KTP contact from Denise Pasquet to Julia Brady

  88. Removed 7 September 2016 close date because it has now passed.

  89. Stephen Woodhouse is no longer responsible for Oxfordshire. Gerry O'Hagan is now responsible for Oxfordshire.

  90. Removed Sue Wale from Buckinghamshire New University as she has now left.

  91. Removed 6 July 2016 deadline.

  92. Updated KTP adviser details: removed Dr Gillian Rysiecki as she has retired

  93. Dorset and Wiltshire contact details updated

  94. Added contact details for Worcester University

  95. 2017 close dates for submission added

  96. Updated contact for Portsmouth University

  97. Change to Bradford and Leeds contact details

  98. Contact details added for Queen Mary University of London

  99. Updated contact details

  100. Contact details updated

  101. Applications now have different limits.

  102. Updated contact details

  103. Updated email addresses

  104. Contact details updated

  105. Contact updated

  106. Updated contact details

  107. Contact details updated

  108. Contact details updated

  109. Updated contact details

  110. Updated contact details

  111. Contact details updated

  112. Contact details change

  113. First published.