Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are recognised as the ‘gold standard’ of knowledge exchange and have been running successfully for nearly 50 years. A KTP is a collaborative partnership involving a business partner (private sector, 3rd sector/charities and some public sector), a knowledge base and a recently qualified person (the KTP Associate) who is recruited by the Partnership. 

The aim of KTP is to support projects that result in transformational change through the knowledge transfer leading to wealth creation.

Guiding principles:

  • there must be a clear strategic need for knowledge transfer into the business supported by a a solid business case
  • there must be a clear knowledge gap/capability that is vital to achieving the strategic goals
  • the capability must be ‘embedded’ into the business partner – so that it delivers impact beyond the life of the project
  • there must be clear additionality – i.e. an area of expertise that the business partner does not have and cannot access easily elsewhere
  • KTP is not a student placement, internship, consultancy or contract research - there are other schemes for these areas of support

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships bring many benefits for the Partners involved.

For the Company - financial support (67% for SMEs or 50% for large organisations, of the total project costs), dedicated resources (full-time Associate working predominantly at the company supported by an academic team) and wider access to the University research base, including specialist facilities and equipment.

A recent programme evaluation of 1,868 business partners and 136 knowledge bases (2010-2020) found:
  • £2.2bn net GVA for the period
  • £8 GVA for every £1 innovate UK invests
  • 94% businesses improved technical skills
  • 78% businesses increased productivity
  • 77% businesses increased investment
For the Associate - applied R&D and employment experience for the KTP Associate. Over 70% of Associates are offered employment at the end of the KTP and nearly 72% accept.

For the Knowledge Base - application of knowledge and expertise to real world technical/business issues and highly relevant input to teaching and research themes.

The programme evaluation (2010-2020) showed that:
  • 92% of knowledge bases increased knowledge of industry challenges
  • 95% knowledge bases felt KTP left a long-term legacy
  • Average of 2 academic papers published per project

Timescales, Funding and KTP Project Management

  • Classic KTPs run for 12 – 36 months and aim to address long-term, strategic business issues.
  • Management KTPs (MKTPs) typically last up to 24 months and aim to address management or related issues such as productivity, digitisation, business resilience, new business models, among other business process-related issues.

KTPs are part-funded by Innovate UK and supported by several research councils. For more information about the costs, visit the KTP Costing Guidance. The company contribution is eligible for R&D Tax Credits.

  • The Associate is employed by the University but works full-time on the company premises
  • The Academic team spends the equivalent of 0.5 days per week on the project
  • The Associate delivers and manages the project against an agreed project plan
  • The Company supervises the Associate as per a normal employee
For more guidance on the KTP, visit the programme website or

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Find Out More:

If you would like to know more about KTP and how Bionow can help facilitate, please contact
Stella James / 07545 207896 /

Stella James /

Find Out More

If you would like to know more about KTP and how Bionow can help facilitate, please contact
Stella James / 07545 207896 /
Contact us here

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