Innovate and Grow Through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Have you consider a Knowledge Transfer Partnership? with images of Kent students doing research

For over 36 years, the University of Kent has been actively involved in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme. Run by Innovate UK and part funded by 14 other research councils and devolved administrations, the scheme aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK knowledge base.

How does it work?

A KTP project is designed to address a strategic need within a business requiring the latest cutting edge knowledge and expertise and is a three-way partnership between a business, academic and an Associate. The Associate is a recently qualified graduate or post-graduate whose job it is to transfer knowledge between the academic and the business. Associates are jointly recruited by the business and academic team, but employed by the University, so whilst they work full-time within the business, they also have access to University facilities. They are granted a healthy training budget which can be used to pay the fees for a Masters or PhD alongside the project.

What about Management KTPs?

Management KTPs (MKTPs) are similar to KTPs, but focus specifically on delivering human-centred and/or technology-enabled, strategic and cultural change.  MKTPs are designed to benefit growth-oriented SMEs eager to introduce better management practices, those seeking significant productivity gains whilst looking to upskill their people and improve productivity by deploying industry-leading practices. For more information about mKTPs, please see this Innovate UK leaflet.

What’s the cost?

KTPs and mKTPs are part-funded, with the amount your business is expected to contribute depending on the size of your business, and the scale and length of the project. On average, projects cost around £100,000 a year. SMEs can access funding for up to 67% of these costs, whilst large organisations can access up to 50%. Projects can last between one and three years, and the academic team spend a minimum of half a day per week working on the project.

How can my business benefit?

On average, businesses who take part in the scheme see an increase of more than £1 million in annual profits before tax, employ three new staff (including the Associate), and have around 31 trained staff. In addition, they often develop a long-term, strategic relationship with the University, which leads future transfer of knowledge and expertise, an improved talent pool, and the embedding of an innovation culture in the company.

Is my project eligible, and if so, how do I apply?

Your project must:

  • Demonstrate clear knowledge transfer and leave your business with a new capability which it can continue to exploit past the life of the project;
  • Be innovative for your business and challenging for the academic team; and
  • Demonstrate wealth creation through an increase in profits as a direct result of the project.

If you think a KTP with the University of Kent could help your company, email or book a meeting with our business and innovation gateway team. They can help assess whether your project is appropriate for funding through Innovate UK and help you with your application. Once your application is approved, our team will be on hand throughout your project to help guide and support it and help ensure its success.

Need some inspiration? View some examples of successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships on our case studies page.

KTPs are funded by UKRI through Innovate UK with the support of co-funders, including the Scottish Funding Council, Welsh Government, Invest Northern Ireland, Defra and BEIS. Innovate UK manages the KTP programme and facilitates its delivery through a range of partners including the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Knowledge Bases and Businesses. Each partner plays a specific role in the support and delivery of the programme.

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