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.

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 or 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

To find out more about KTPs, please visit the website via the link provided on the right hand side.