Knowledge Transfer Partnership guidance - Innovate UK


Who can take part

Each KTP is a partnership between:

  • a UK-based business or organisation: this includes not-for-profit organisations such as social enterprises, charities and some public sector organisations. (within KTP these partners are always referred to as ‘the business’)
  • a UK-registered knowledge base: this could be a university, college, research and technology organisation or Catapult
  • a suitably qualified graduate, with the capability to lead a strategic business project
  • Innovate UK and Innovate UK Business Connect, who provide funding and support

KTP for businesses

Taking part in a KTP can benefit your business by helping solve a specific challenge that your business is facing. You can get access to academic expertise and resources that you do not have in-house.

Working with your knowledge base partner you will improve your business processes and performance, helping you to become more competitive and productive.

KTP for third sector and charities

KTP will help you develop new income streams to support the work of your organisation by developing or improving your products and services. KTPs can help you become more efficient and more innovative by providing access to academic expertise and resources that you do not currently have access to.

KTP for the public sector

Many public sector organisations are eligible to apply for a management KTP. This will help public sector organisations work with experts from their chosen knowledge base to improve systems, processes, and management capabilities.

KTP for knowledge bases

Knowledge base partners who take part in a KTP create on average more than three new research projects and two research papers for each project.

Most knowledge bases have a dedicated KTP office. These offices work with the business and academic partners who intend to collaborate, to scope out the project and help develop an application.

KTP for graduates

KTP is one of the UK’s largest graduate recruitment programmes. There are over 300 job opportunities each year for graduates (known as ‘associates’) to lead KTP projects.

Around 75% of KTP associates are offered permanent positions with their business partner. Those associates that do not stay with their business often remain within the sector, but some develop academic careers, and some set up their own businesses.

Every associate is given a dedicated training and development budget that supports:

  • developmental training that is specifically required for the project
  • training that helps the all-round development of the associate

KTP roles are advertised by the knowledge base and successful applicants will have an employment contract with them, but you will primarily be working for the business.

As most KTPs are full-time roles, it can be difficult to juggle the demands of completing a course or submitting a thesis, so these need to be completed before the likely start date of a KTP graduate role.

You can find more information and opportunities at:

Last updated: 17 June 2024

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