What is it?

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 organization 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 organization 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.


A KTP is part-funded by a grant. Business needs 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 of business needs to contribute depends on the scale and length of the project. It will also depend on the size of the company. 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. 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.


Taking part in a KTP can help develop a business. They can get academic expertise that they don’t have in-house. This can improve business performance and help it to become more competitive and productive.

Suitable for which Businesses?

Each KTP is a 3-way partnership between: a UK-based business of any size or a not-for-profit organization. an academic or research organization. This could be a university, college or research and technology organization in the UK. a suitably-qualified graduate, with the capability to lead a strategic business project.

How do you engage?

Most academic and research organizations 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. A KTP application must be completed jointly by the prospective business and the academic or research organization partner. 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 organization on behalf of the partnership, following agreement from the KT Adviser.