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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a collaborative grant supported by UK Research and Innovation to deliver a strategic project.

The structure of a KTP is a knowledge-based partnership between an academic partner, a business, and a suitably qualified graduate, known as the KTP Associate.

This government-backed scheme has been running for over 40 years. The KTC has a proven track record in securing funding and supporting you through every step of the process, from scoping to application and project delivery. A KTP will typically last between two and three years, depending on the time required to achieve the required outcomes.

Taking part in a KTP is an excellent opportunity to explore the practical applications of academic research, solve important business problems, and facilitate innovation and growth within UK businesses.

A KTP can:

  • provide a valuable source of research income
  • evidence the impact of academic research
  • identify new research themes and contribute to the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • inform business of relevant teaching and research
  • lead to the publication of papers and journal articles
  • develop rewarding and ongoing collaborations with industry
  • offer a fulfilling employment opportunity for graduates and postgraduates.

Working in the same way as a KTP, Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are specifically designed to harness academic expertise to help businesses develop and implement a management strategy across all aspects of their organisation to increase productivity, build resilience and drive growth.

If you are interested in KTPs, please get in touch.


What is a KTP?

A KTP is a government-funded programme which facilitates collaboration between UK universities and businesses. It establishes a partnership which enables businesses to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project.

What does a KTP project look like?

KTPs span a wide range of sectors but must be strategic, challenging, innovative and dependent on the transfer of university knowledge. KTPs can be used to develop new products and services or apply new technologies for example. However, each KTP is different and the KTC is here to discuss your ideas and let you know if the KTP model is right for you.

How long is a KTP?

The length of a KTP varies but they are typically two to three years long.

How do I apply for a KTP?

The first step is to contact the KTC to discuss your idea(s). We can then guide you through the application process. The grant application form and project plan are written collaboratively between the company and academic partners. The KTC have been supporting colleagues with KTPs for over 30 years and can help you maximise the chances of securing funding.

What benefits can a KTP offer academics?

A KTP is a valuable source of research income and can bring wide-ranging benefits including:

  • demonstrable impact of academic research
  • new research themes and contribution to the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • case studies and student projects to inform business relevant teaching and research
  • publication of papers and journal articles
  • rewarding and ongoing collaborations with industry.

What involvement do academics have in KTPs?

KTPs typically have at least two academics supporting each project.

The Academic Supervisor is responsible for day-to-day supervision for the KTP Associate to guide their technical, academic, and professional development with a time commitment of a minimum half a day per week on average working on the project.

The Lead Academic has a wider strategic view of the project and is responsible for ensuring that the university fulfils its commitments to the project. Academic time is costed using FEC and paid for by the grant.

What is a KTP Associate?

A KTP Associate is a graduate or postgraduate employed by the university and based at the company partner to project-manage the KTP and facilitate knowledge transfer.

What are the benefits for KTP Associates?

A KTP can represent an excellent employment opportunity and has wide-ranging benefits including:

  • the opportunity to apply knowledge to realise a key strategic innovation
  • valuable project management experience in a commercial setting
  • dedicated coaching and mentoring
  • £2,000 per year development budget for training and development
  • the opportunity to gain further professional qualification(s)
  • the chance to work towards a higher degree
  • a competitive salary
  • the possibility of continued employment with the company at the end of the project.

I know a student/graduate who would be a great KTP Associate; how can they apply for a role?

All KTP roles at the University of Reading will be advertised on the university jobs website as well as on KTP Associate vacancies available nationally can be found on the KTP job website.