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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership helps your business to build a close, effective link with an academic partner.

For over 40 years Knowledge Transfer Partnerships have been helping businesses access the UK’s world-leading research base to innovate and grow.

If you have an idea for an innovation but do not have all the in-house expertise needed to develop it, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership can link you to the “Knowledge Base” (generally a university or other research organisation) and a capable graduate or post-graduate to work on the project, guided by a team of academic experts.

The Knowledge Transfer Network provides local experts called Knowledge Transfer Advisers, who will help you find an academic partner, shape your project and deliver it to time. As a first step, you can contact your local Knowledge Transfer Adviser via the Knowledge Transfer Network.

Click here to find your local Knowledge Transfer Adviser

Click here to view the latest KTP funding opportunities

From here, Knowledge Transfer Advisers will provide support throughout, from helping to shape a project brief in preparation for a grant application, to ensuring a coherent partnership is formed, to then making regular visits to the partnership, coaching and mentoring the graduate and ensuring you and your academic partner understand each other’s requirements.

An Overview of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership helps your business to build a close, effective link with an academic partner, to deliver a pre-specified project and to embed a new, lasting, capability in your business.

The university will recruit a post-graduate, usually with a Master’s or PhD, to work on the project at your company. The post-graduate or ‘Associate’ as they are known, will be the conduit for transferring and implementing the knowledge generated and providing feedback from you to the academic partner, who will devote 0.5 days per week to your project.

The length of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships varies from 12 – 36 months, depending on the nature of the project and the requirements of your business. Part of the cost is funded by a grant from the innovation agency Innovate UK, that you apply for in a competitive call for submissions.  Project costs are variable, but can typically be of the order of £75,000 per project year. For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the grant rate is 66.7% of the project cost and for large companies 50%. The remainder of the project cost is met by a cash payment by your company.

The role of Knowledge Transfer Advisers

The Knowledge Transfer Network is a partner of Innovate UK, supporting businesses to innovate and grow. One of the many areas of support it provides, is specialist support to access and succeed in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership via dedicated regionally-based Knowledge Transfer Advisers. Advisers each have extensive experience of research and industry and can be looked to as a source of independent expert advice.

All the Knowledge Transfer Advisers employed by the Knowledge Transfer Network understand how partnership promotes innovation and are passionate about delivering success for the partners and attracting high-quality graduates to industry.

As the first contact point, a Knowledge Transfer Adviser can answer all your questions about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. If you would like to take part, an Adviser will check the feasibility of your idea and if it is suitable for funding. They can then help find an academic partner and assist in drawing up a grant application.

If successful, your partnership will be assigned a Knowledge Transfer Adviser. S/he will visit every 3 – 4 months to provide ongoing support to the partners and coaching and mentoring support to the Associate.

Your dedicated Knowledge Transfer Adviser can access colleagues elsewhere in the network to help your business fully exploit the project.
Click here to find your local Knowledge Transfer Adviser

Further information on the benefit of KTPs and how they work.

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