Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2023 to 2024 Round 5

UK registered academic institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £9 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not for profits.

Opportunity Details


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Typically, a project’s total costs are £8,500 per month. Projects must be between 12 and 36 months. Innovate UK will fund up to 67% of costs for SMEs (75% for non-profits/charities).


Innovate UK

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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.

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.

  • Each KTP is a partnership between the following:

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

    We use the term ‘business partner’ for businesses, public sector organisations, not for profit organisations charities or charitable businesses.

    Public sector organisations can only apply for a Management KTP.

    The knowledge base partner must lead the project and must:

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

    • be a UK registered business, not for profit organisation or eligible public sector organisation
    • have 2 or more full time equivalent employees

    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:

    • why the business needs this KTP
    • what new knowledge is required by the business
    • what new capabilities will be embedded as a result of the KTP

    We will not fund:

    • projects that are not strategic for the business partner
    • projects that do not demonstrate a genuine market opportunity or viable route to market
    • research projects
    • projects where the business partner is an ineligible public sector organisation
    • projects which are classed as State aid under EC regulations or a subsidy under the EU-UK TCA
    • undertakings which gain a selective economic or commercial advantage from the funding

    Applications must be supported by an Innovate UK appointed Knowledge Transfer Adviser (KTA) who will be informed of your application. It will be withdrawn from the competition if they have not given their support.

    KTPs are typically advertised on a full-time basis. Associates may apply to work on a flexible basis for the duration of the project via the employer’s flexible working policy.

  • Any funding 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.

    Innovate UK has allocated up to £9 million in this round of the KTP programme, which will contribute towards the total costs of the individual projects. The number of public sector management KTPs is limited to a maximum of 10 applications per competition round.

    The grant contribution to your project may be funded wholly or in part by one or more of the KTP financial supporters. You must choose at least one of the following financial supporters:

    • UKRI KTP (Innovate UK)
    • Invest Northern Ireland
    • Scottish Funding Council
    • Welsh Government
    • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

    The delivery of the KTP programme is supported by the UKRI Research Councils. If their involvement could be beneficial to your project, this must be indicated in the application.

    Successful applications are partially funded on the following basis:

    • large companies and eligible public sector organisations 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
    • not for profit organisations charities or charitable business may receive a grant contribution of up to 75% of eligible project costs, with the charity or charitable business paying the balance
    • as virtual businesses have no geographical location they may only receive a grant contribution of 50% or 67% depending upon the size of the business and must support additional costs as outlined in the KTP project costs guidance
  • To find out more about KTP, read the KTP guidance or visit the KTP website. You may also wish to 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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