Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2022 to 2023 Round 5

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) link forward thinking businesses with the UK’s world class knowledge bases to deliver innovation projects led by inspired graduates.

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Typically, a project’s total costs are £8500 per month. Projects must be between 12 and 36 months. A proportion of the costs (usually 50-75% depending on business size) will be funded by Innovate UK. The remainder of the project costs are paid by the business partner.


Innovate UK
Invest NI
Scottish Government
Welsh Government

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The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme 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 ‘knowledge base partner’, (either a UK higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, research and technology organisation (RTO) or Catapult).

The KTP partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. The knowledge base partner recruits the ‘associate’ to work on the project. The associate has the opportunity to lead a strategic development within the business developing new skills and gaining valuable experience.

Guidance on how to apply for a KTP is provided here.

Each application must be led by a knowledge base, working with a business partner and supported by a knowledge transfer adviser.

If you are a business and do not yet have a relationship with a knowledge base partner, the knowledge transfer adviser can help you to identify one.

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


The knowledge base partner cannot work alone.

The knowledge base partner must lead the project and must:

Academic knowledge base partners must also seek to publish a minimum of 2 academic papers for publication per completed project. Catapults must create at least 2 industry focused publications per project.

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

The business partner must provide financial accounts from the current financial year and the previous two years. Other supporting documentation may be required. For businesses less than 3 years old, the knowledge base or Knowledge Transfer Adviser will give further guidance.

The size, location and type of your business determines the proportion of eligible costs we will fund. Successful applications are partially funded on the following basis:

  • large companies may receive a grant contribution of up to 50% of eligible project costs, with the business paying the balance
  • SME’s may receive a grant contribution up to 67% of eligible project costs, with the business paying the balance
  • charities and charitable businesses may receive a grant contribution of up to 75% of eligible project costs, with the charity or charitable business paying the balance
  • SME businesses in Wales may receive a grant contribution up to 75% of eligible project costs, with the business paying the balance

Eligible costs depend on a number of factors, including:

  • the duration of the project
  • where the project will be located
  • the size of the business or group
  • if your business operates virtually

Each knowledge base can collaborate with any number of business partners. Each business partner (including separate businesses within a business group) can only take part in up to 4 concurrent KTP funded projects.


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 and must show:

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

Management KTPs (MKTPs) are also available: these focus on increasing effectiveness and improving productivity through better management practices. They create a partnership with a UK business school or academics that can demonstrate how their experience relates to management practice. Management KTPs are aimed at supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) businesses. Large companies are considered on a case by case basis.

To find out more, visit the KTP website or contact your local Knowledge Transfer Adviser.

Related programme

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

For over 45 years Knowledge Transfer Partnerships have been helping businesses innovate for growth by accessing the UK’s world-leading knowledge base.


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