Future Leaders Pipeline for talented Graduates and post Grads via a Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Posted on: 01/05/2019

The KTP Best of the Best Awards highlight the exceptional opportunities and achievements offered by the Associate role in a KTP


It’s a little known thing, but Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) have been one of the UK’s biggest graduate recruitment programmes for over 40 years, with around 300 KTP Associate jobs becoming available each year.


The Associate role in a KTP presents a fast-track career path and a unique bridge between the academic and commercial worlds. The appeal for many graduates who apply for KTP Associate positions is the opportunity to apply academic expertise to real-world commercial challenges. Maintaining links with academic departments, the role also often facilitates on-going research and the possibility of further academic qualifications for the Associate.


KTPs are dynamic three-way partnerships, formed to deliver a specific innovation project, between a forward-looking organisation; an expert team at one of the UK’s world-class Knowledge Bases (university or research organisation); and a talented Graduate or Post Graduate Рcalled the Associate – who acts as project manager in a KTP.


The winners of this year’s Future Innovator category in the KTP Best of the Best Awards reflect the diversity of the challenges and opportunities presented by the KTP Associate role, and how dynamic graduates can flourish as a result of the programme.


Here we showcase the 5 winners of this year’s Future Innovators category:



EventMAP and the University of Nottingham recruited Simon Kingston as the Associate on their project to develop next generation scheduling and timetabling solutions for the world of television advertising spot scheduling for linear TV ads across national and regional buying packages for Channel 4.


Simon Рa graduate from Queen’s University Belfast as recently as 2017 – was managing two full-time developers within the first 6 months of the project, and is currently on track to join the senior technical team within the year. He has shared his work via a number of peer-reviewed academic publications and conference presentations; as well as undertaking further background research.



Ryan Jessop, Associate on the KTP between Clicksco and Durham University, coordinated a project to increase online advertising targeting accuracy by modelling the nuances of consumer behaviour in response to advertising. Desired outcome?  Predicting click through rates, improving effectiveness from online marketing spend and a more relevant consumer online advertising experience.


Pete Danks, CEO, Carbon by Clicksco described the project as “a perfect mix of future innovation and immediate commercial impact”.


The challenge for Radovan as KTP Associate was managing a project designed to develop manufacturing technology for the volume production of In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Devices to address a global first-to-market opportunity for healthcare providers.


“This is a highly complex project, requiring development of totally new complex techniques and processes” commented Jose Freedman, specialist KTP Adviser for the project at the Knowledge Transfer Network.


“The role of Radovan has been…. Pioneering” added Dr Antonio Fratini, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, Aston University.



As Associate on this project, Sean’s role was to help develop a next-generation flow meter communications platform to serve as the backbone for all future developments for this Yorkshire-based flow meter specialist.


Sean was also responsible for achieving the twin aim of establishing an internal research and development department within the organisation.



RGH aimed to achieve two key objectives through the KTP: setting up a laboratory to enable the company to embed systematic and scientifically driven quality control procedures for testing their products; and developing and launching a new brand of noise vibration textiles.


“Dr Zhu and the University’s partnership with RGH Rubber and Plastics has enabled the company to…. develop a market-disrupting product in the adhesive bonding field, making them innovators in their sector”, said Dr Kate Byford, Director of Business Development, University of Hertfordshire.

As these finalists demonstrate, the range of skills and challenges is as diverse as the projects that can benefit from the unique three-way partnership created by a KTP.  The role of the Associate is key to the success of these strategic, innovation projects and looks set to continue providing a dynamic pathway for talented graduates for years to come.


To see the list of current KTP Associate vacancies, click here.


Bookmark our new website www.ktp-uk.org – due to launch soon – which will have more information about the Associate role as well as current vacancies.


KTP aims to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills held within the UK knowledge base.  The Knowledge Transfer Network delivers the KTP programme for Innovate UK, funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.


Find further information about KTPs here and applications for funding are open all year round.

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