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Science Minister Jo Johnson to announce £30 million for Innovate UK to boost business and graduate partnerships

Posted on 09/11/2017

Science Minister Jo Johnson will announce an extra £30m of funding for KTPs

Science Minister Jo Johnson will announce an extra £30m of funding for KTP

Science Minister Jo Johnson will today (Thursday 9th November) announce that Innovate UK will receive an extra £30 million of funding for the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) scheme, which supports UK businesses to innovate and grow.

This additional money will allow significant expansion of the KTPs, which currently employ 630 graduates and post-doctoral researchers into industrial R&D and entrepreneurial roles in the UK.

KTPs enable businesses to bring in new skills, and the latest academic thinking, to deliver an innovation project of commercial benefit in a three way knowledge-based partnership between them, an academic or research organisation, and a suitably-qualified graduate.

The £30 million funding is from the National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the 2017 Spring Budget, and is part of the Government’s plans to build the pipeline of high-skilled research talent necessary for a growing, innovative economy.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said:

“Through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, businesses of all sizes are partnering with our world-leading academics and researchers to learn how new skills and thinking can increase their competitiveness and productivity, and this extra funding will ensure even more UK businesses continue to innovate and grow.

“By putting science, research and innovation at the heart of our Industrial Strategy, and emphasising the benefits of commercialising research, we are building on our strengths in R&D and delivering benefits across the country.”

KTPs have been run with Unilever, Dyson, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Sainsbury’s and many other large companies, but less visible is that 80% of KTPs are SME led.

Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, said: “We are committing significantly more funding this year on KTPs than usual. This enables an increase to the KTP scheme this year, with additional KTPs becoming more closely aligned to Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund areas.

“Companies who have used KTPs know their development value in bringing in excellent staff with cutting edge academic knowledge.

“The current tried and tested KTP model is widely recognised, and proven over 40 years of operation, for its excellence in stimulating innovation and producing successful outcomes.  However, there are many innovative companies, particularly SMEs who could benefit from the academic mentoring that a KTP provides who don’t know the scheme exists.”

The KTP scheme has a network of 23 advisors across the UK, employed through Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network to broker and mentor projects. More information on KTPs, and how to get involved, is available here