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  1. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

A KTP is a project between an academic expert, a graduate, and a company looking to embed new capability in order to drive business growth. Managed by Innovate UK (a public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills), the prestigious programme funds projects able to demonstrate novelty and the potential to deliver a significant impact on business profitability.

City, University of London has a successful portfolio of KTP projects and is keen to work further with businesses and the professions in order to deliver more great impacts.

Why KTP?

I was first attracted to Knowledge Transfer Partnerships because if you're a business owner, or a business that had a great idea but didn't quite know how to get it started within research and development, there was funding available to help you"

David Hunstone, Managing Director, Hub Productions Ltd


Running successfully since 1975, KTP is now one of the largest knowledge transfer schemes in Europe and an example of best practice in industry-academic engagement.

By providing access to academic experts and talented graduates, KTP can help take your business forward, become more innovative, and realise new opportunities for growth. In 2012-13, it was estimated that companies taking part in the scheme saw an average increase in profit before tax of around £260,000 through improved operations and/or increased sales.

KTPs are also a great source of talent: in addition to the project management experience they gain during day-to-day delivery of the project outcomes, graduates are provided with extensive training to develop their business and leadership skills. As a result, in around 70% of cases company partners have made offers of permanent employment to their graduate associate upon project completion.

More than 10,000 KTPs have been set up since the programme started, across almost all industry sectors. Project scope varies hugely and may include: improving existing products or developing new ones, implementing marketing strategies, developing new systems and frameworks to improve efficiencies in processes, among many more.

Follow this link to see some of the best examples of successful KTP projects from around the UK.

How Does KTP Work?

KTP works as a three-way partnership between a business, a Higher Education institution, and a graduate.

The first step is to identify the appropriate expertise for your business need(s). Our school Business Development Managers can informally discuss this with you and put you in contact with an academic expert at City to explore and define a project. An agreed project can be anywhere between 1 to 3 years in length, depending on the scope of your requirements.

Every project must:

  • Have a clearly demonstrated need for knowledge transfer
  • Be academically challenging, and provide benefits, for all partners
  • Not replace what could be achieved by using independent consultants or solutions that are available 'off the shelf' (e.g. commercial software packages)

Once a suitable project has been devised, you will work with your academic partner to jointly prepare an application for funding and, if successful, recruit a graduate who will work full-time at your company premises to deliver the project outcomes. Regular mentoring and academic input will be provided by your academic partner (equivalent to half a day a week, every week).

Further project support is provided by a KTP Advisor from Innovate UK, who is a crucial enabler of the project from start to finish. Their role includes: helping you to prepare your application; post-award meetings (every four months); and completion of the final report.

This strong ethos of dedicated business and project support, from both the institution and Innovate UK, is a key point of difference for the KTP scheme, and a major reason for its ongoing success.

We've developed, test-marketed and are now implementing our new services. The KTP has been of immense value in planning for our future and working towards our objective of helping more people in the printing, publishing, graphic and allied trades.

Steven Gilbert, Chief Executive, The Printing Charity.

How Much Funding Will My Business Receive?

KTP offers matched-funding of up to 67% project costs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and up to 50% for large companies.

The KTP grant is used to offset the costs incurred by the university as a result of taking part in the project, and is paid directly to the university each quarter to cover a proportion of the total project costs. These include:

  • the full-time employment of the graduate
  • regular time input and visits from the academic partner to the company premises
  • training and development for the graduate
  • a small amount for travel and consumables
  • additional institution administrative support (HR, Finance, Legal, etc.)

The average company partner contribution required for an SME is around £25k per year, or about a third of typical total project costs (these are in the region of £70K per year). For larger companies the rate is higher and a typical contribution is from £35k per year, or about a half total project costs.

Additional company contribution may be needed if it is felt necessary to offer a more competitive salary to the graduate.

Is My Business Eligible?

KTP is open to UK businesses in any sector. You must be able to demonstrate that you are able to support your matched funding contribution, as well as any additional costs you may incur as a business. Furthermore, you must be able to provide a stable and vibrant working environment for your Associate. As a general rule of thumb, Innovate UK will expect to see a permanent staff head-count of five or more employees before considering funding a project.

Non-profit organisations are also eligible to apply but must demonstrate a sufficient business case for wealth creation in order to be funded.

For an informal discussion around your eligibility please contact the Business Development Manager for your school.

Further information is also available on the KTP national website.

Are You a Graduate Interested In Launching Your Career Through KTP?

Covering a huge range of subject areas, KTP is one of the UK's largest employment programmes placing talented graduates and postgraduates at the bridge between academia and business.

Taking part in KTP will enable you to:

  • Work full-time within a company on an innovative project relevant to your degree
  • Receive dedicated line-management from a company supervisor while maintaining the mentoring and support of a university
  • Deliver results which are core to the development of a company's strategy
  • Access further qualifications and skills training in business, management and finance
  • Have the chance of being offered permanent employment in your host company upon project completion

Being a strategic driver in a company so soon after leaving university is an incredible opportunity and has fast tracked my career to a managerial position.

Rachel Sinclair BA


You are at the heart of decision making and influencing. It would have taken me ten years in normal circumstances to have this kind of opportunity.

Katie Riches BA, Msc


KTP allows you to keep a foot in the door with academia while gaining experience in an industrial setting and achieving deliverables for both.

Mark Saw Bsc, Phd


KTP has vacancies across the UK and recruits all year round. For a full, updated list of current KTP vacancies please refer to the national KTP graduate website to browse and register your interest.

For an informal discussion around the benefits of taking part in a KTP as a graduate please contact your local Business Development Manager.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.