Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Knowledge Transfer Partnership

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Key features of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) are that:

  • they are open to businesses or not-for-profit organisations, research organisations and graduates to work on an innovation project
  • partnerships can last between 12 and 36 months
  • funding is provided to support the total cost of the project – businesses provide around one-third to half of the project costs depending on their size.

Who can apply

A KTP is a partnership open to:

  • a UK-based business of any size or a not-for-profit organisation
  • a university, college or research and technology organisation including Catapults.

What we're looking for

We are looking for partnerships that help businesses to innovate, develop, grow and become more productive by employing academic expertise that they do not have in-house.

Your project can focus on any type of innovation in any sector but it must aim to deliver results that your business would not otherwise be able to deliver.

As a business, you may be looking for an academic partner to help you to address a particular innovation challenge.

Partnerships are part-funded by a grant. Your business will have to contribute to the costs of the project, including the salary of the graduate, known as the associate, and the cost of a supervisor to oversee the project.

The associate is employed by the academic partner but works in the business and brings new skills and thinking to deliver a specific innovation project. The project will last between 12 and 36 months.

Project costs vary greatly but typically a small or medium sized business might expect to contribute £35,000 a year and a large company in excess of £50,000. Your company may have additional costs such as purchasing capital equipment, which are not covered by this grant.

How to apply

Most academic organisations, research organisations and Catapults will have a dedicated KTP office. These offices work with the business and academic partners to develop the project. If you are already working in an academic organisation, research organisation or Catapult, you should contact your institution’s KTP office.

Find contact details for your KTP office.

If you are a business looking for an academic partner, you can either contact your local university, research organisations or Catapult KTP office or a knowledge transfer adviser. They will:

  • check the feasibility and suitability of your idea
  • find the right academic or researcher to work on your project.

Find a knowledge transfer adviser.

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 results that will be delivered by the associate.

If your project is using research previously funded by one of the research councils, this should be clearly stated in the relevant section within the application form.

The completed application should be submitted by the academic or research organisation. They will have access to a KTP applicant’s site.

There are rolling deadlines throughout the year. You normally have a decision within 12 weeks.

Check the latest deadlines.

UKRI is implementing a standard method for inputting overseas costs on Je-S from 1 July 2021. This will enhance UKRI’s ability to report on overseas funding to:

  • BEIS
  • the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD)
  • HMG
  • other government departments.

It includes any costs incurred by organisations outside the UK, including:

  • staff salaries
  • travel and subsistence
  • equipment
  • overheads.

The ‘Other-DI Costs’ document is to contain the following data in the description box in this exact format: ‘Organisation; Country; Cost Category; Cost Description’.

For example: ‘University of Nairobi; Kenya; Other Directly Incurred Costs; Subcontracting of the production of samples’.

How we will assess your application

Your application is assessed by an independent group of assessors on its potential to create economic growth or societal impact.

Your partnerships should:

  • demonstrate a need for knowledge transfer and a benefit to all partners
  • be an innovative project with a clear business case
  • provide a challenge for the associate
  • have a clear outcome for the academic partner.

KTPs are supported by UKRI, Welsh Government, Invest Northern Ireland, Scottish Funding Council, BEIS and Defra. Each has specific criteria.

Find out more about specific funding criteria (PDF, 51KB).

Additional info

KTP has more than 300 job opportunities for graduates every year. Opportunities can be found in various locations including :

  • KTP vacancies online
  • university recruitment sites
  • career offices
  • recruitment websites
  • local newspapers
  • job centres

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