Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2021 to 2022, round 3

Up to £6 million is available to fund innovation projects, which are a partnership between an academic institution/RTO/Catapult and a business or not-for-profit, employing 1-2 graduate associates.

Opportunity Details


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Typically, projects cost no more than £75,000 per year. A proportion of this will be paid by the business partner.


Innovate UK
Invest NI
Scottish Government
Welsh Government

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The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme allows a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation (which we will refer to collectively as the ‘business partner’ from now on) to partner with a UK higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, RTO or Catapult (which we will refer to as the ‘knowledge base partner’).

This new partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. The knowledge base partner will recruit 1 or 2 graduates (known as ‘associates’) to work on the project.

Each application must be led by a knowledge base, working with a business partner. If you are from a knowledge base that has not yet developed a project, get started by reading the KTP guidance. If you are from a business, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

Visit the KTP website to find out more about the programme and the current roles available for graduates.

This award is provided on a no subsidy basis. This means you must publish or make all project outputs openly available on a non-selective basis. If you decide to commercially exploit project outputs, you can only do so with no selective advantage.

Each KTP is a partnership between the following:

  • a UK knowledge base, acting as lead organisation and submitting the application
  • a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation

Your project can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on the project requirements.

KTP does not support projects with public sector organisations.

The knowledge base partner must lead the project and must be a UK registered higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, RTO or Catapult.

Business partners cannot work alone. They must develop the project with a knowledge base of their choice. We encourage business partners to approach knowledge bases directly.

To collaborate with the knowledge base, the business partner must:

  • be a UK registered business, of any size, or a not-for-profit organisation
  • have more than 2 employees
  • demonstrate its ability to financially support its contribution to the project

The definition KTP uses for ‘not-for-profit organisation’ includes social enterprises and charities.

The knowledge base partner and the business partner must sign a joint commitment statement.

Innovate UK will consider partially funding project costs of any amount if they judge the costs to be appropriate. Typically, projects cost about £75,000 per year. Find out which project costs are eligible for funding. Innovate UK and its supporters usually fund projects at 67% of eligible project costs for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 50% of eligible project costs for large businesses.

The business partner in your application must also provide funding. The amount depends on the project costs, duration, business size, and project and business locations. Additionally, the business partner must fund the time spent on the project by their own staff, and other non-eligible costs such as the purchase of capital equipment.

Each knowledge base can collaborate on any number of applications. Each business partner (including separate businesses within a business group) can take part in up to 4 KTP funded projects at any one time.

Your application must be for a specific, strategic innovation project that tackles one or more challenges faced by the business partner. It can be any kind of project, it must show:

  • how it helps the business with a real need
  • how it fits the strategic aims of the business partner
  • there is a genuine market opportunity and route to market
  • how the knowledge gained will be embedded within the business partner
  • what makes this approach innovative

If you are successful, the partnership will have 9 months to jointly recruit an associate and start the project from the date the grant offer letter (GOL) is issued.

For further information, please see the KTP website.


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