Knowledge transfer partnerships for business

What is a KTP?

KTP is a part government-funded initiative enabling forward-thinking businesses to harness universities' expert knowledge, technology and research, to help them improve their processes and products, via innovative projects.

KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, academic/research institution and a qualified graduate. The graduate will work on the strategic, innovative project for up to three years under the supervision of a Kingston University academic team and a manager based within the organisation.

If you have a strategic challenge which is central to the development of your business, but perhaps are lacking the specialised knowledge and expertise to address it, a KTP could offer a solution.

The KTP programme has supported over 13,000 partnerships that have linked businesses with the UK's world-class knowledge bases to deliver innovation projects led by talented graduates, delivering an 800% return on investment.

To find out more about KTP and discuss your business needs, please complete this enquiry form.

Benefits of KTP for businesses

Business leader conversing with Kingston University experts.

  • Access qualified experts to lead strategic projects and help take your organisation forward
  • Embed expertise, expand capability and foster a culture of innovation
  • Increase revenue/profits through access to new markets, new product development, increased productivity and better processes.
  • Develop innovative solutions to help your organisation grow.
  • Increase your competitive advantage and profitability.
  • Improve your performance/business operations.

Businesses typically achieve significantly increased growth in turnover and profitability as well as creating new jobs.

How much will a KTP cost?

 

Type of businessAverage costProportion of project costs
funded by Innovate UK
Proportion of project
costs funded by company
SME £35,000 per year Approx. 67% Approx. 33%
Large companies £55,000 per year Approx. 50% Approx. 50%

Eligible project costs depend on many factors including project duration, the nature and location of the work etc. The figures indicated give an idea of how much companies need to contribute.

Examples of KTP projects include:

  • Developing new technologies, digital platforms and mobile applications across many sectors
  • Improving customer experience and increasing sales
  • Embedding knowledge in marketing, branding and product design
  • Researching materials and concept testing
  • Developing quality assurance frameworks and systems
  • Developing and embedding in-house skills and expertise.

The KTP process

Business related research on campus at Kingston University

A dedicated member of Kingston University's Partnerships and Business Engagement Team will work with you throughout the application process and for the lifetime of the project, alongside a KTP Advisor from Innovate UK. The process follows these steps:

  • Check the feasibility of your idea by contacting Kingston University.
  • Scope out and cost the project
  • Find an academic partner
  • Complete an online application form.
  • Consideration of proposals.
  • Issue of a grant offer letter.
  • Recruitment of a suitably qualified graduate to work on the project, based at your company (known as an associate).
  • KTP begins.

KTP at Kingston University

Kingston University has been facilitating KTPs since 1992 and has won a number of awards and received outstanding ratings for projects working with businesses from a range of sectors.

Cubic Defence UK Limited (Vocality)

Developing technology to assess the quality of available communication channels in real time and select the fastest or most cost-effective route.

Equas

Developing an environmental, health and safety legal compliance software tool and database for SMEs operating in the United Arab Emirates.

Hampton Court Palace

Redesigning the way that visitors experience the Tudor sections of Hampton Court.

Linguaphone Group Ltd

Developing a kindergarten curriculum for Pingu's International English School, run in over 20 countries.

Pangea Connected Ltd

Developing a cutting-edge 5G-enabled video streaming system that will allow A&E doctors to make life-saving decisions on patient care by viewing live footage from ambulances.

Places for People Leisure

Developing a nationally-agreed system for the quality assurance of exercise in managing age- and obesity-related chronic disease.

Salutem

Developing a sophisticated sensor system that will alert carers of people with autism and learning difficulties when urgent support is needed.

The Entryphone Company

Developing new wireless solutions allowing users to interact with their entry door and visitors through their mobile device or browser, from anywhere in the world.

For more information

For more detailed information about KTP please visit the UK Research and Innovation website and Innovate UK's KTP website.

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Exchange and Innovation at Kingston University, Martin Davies, recently wrote a blog explaining the importance of KTP for businesses and Universities, how they have evolved and their impact.

Contact us

To find out more about KTP and discuss your business needs, please complete this enquiry form.

Frequently asked questions

Can I run a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?

KTP has worked with over 3,000 organisations. From manufacturing to design, sustainability to marketing; any business sector, including third sector and public sector organisations such as the NHS, can take part. Participants most prove that their business can support the project both financially and in terms of supervision. A project has to be commercially beneficial and this has to be clear from the outset.

How can I be sure that a KTP is right for me?

A member of the Kingston University team will meet you and discuss your organisation's needs. They can recommend going forwards with a KTP or discuss a range of other services that may be appropriate.

How much will a KTP cost me?

An SME would contribute around 33% of the cost of the project which will be on average £35,000 per year. Large companies will contribute 50% which will be about a £55,000 contribution per year annually.

Eligible project costs depend on many factors including project duration, the nature and location of the work etc.

How long does it take?

From a first meeting, and with full commitment from all partners, the lead time to submitting an application would typically take a minimum of two months. Recruitment can start within a month of a successful submission. There are six submission deadlines per year, with a gap over Christmas. Partnerships can run for up to three years. It is also possible to run two programmes concurrently.

Wouldn't it be easier to just employ a graduate?

The KTP associate is employed by the University on behalf of your company, so you do not have an extra person on your payroll. The budget also includes allowances for travel, expenses and equipment, all subsidised by the grant.

How does it help us if the graduate (Associate) works for the University?

The Associate works in the company as a member of staff, keeping to company hours and regulations. The project can also draw on University resources, including expertise from other departments, equipment and facilities and our extensive library and online databases.

What types of project can I run?

The type of project suitable for a KTP is:

  • a strategic one, which has an impact on the company's growth or future success
  • something that would benefit from academic expertise
  • a challenge that will stretch the graduate and offer them a chance to apply their knowledge.

Examples of KTP projects include:

  • Developing new technologies, digital platforms and mobile applications across many sectors
  • Improving customer experience and increasing sales
  • Embedding knowledge in marketing, branding and product design
  • Researching materials and concept testing
  • Developing quality assurance frameworks and systems
  • Developing and embedding in-house skills and expertise.

What happens if the project aims change?

The steering group for a project can agree changes in objectives, provided that the main context of the project remains the same.

How much extra work is involved?

We endeavour to take the burden of administrative work for the project, so that all you have to do is jointly oversee the graduate with the support of the academic supervisor.

What support will I get from the University?

A member of the Kingston University Partnerships and Business Engagement team, working alongside an appropriately qualified academic, will help you develop a project proposal which sets out clear aims, objectives and outcomes. KTPs may not be appropriate for small or start-up organisations if they do not have the resources to provide active management and financial support for the project.

When the proposal has been accepted by the funding body, the associate is employed by the University to work in the company for approximately 90% of their time. The remaining time is spent on professional and personal development or training, which often brings added benefits to the project. The academic supervisor will spend approximately 10% of their time with the associate to ensure knowledge is transferred. If appropriate, the associate may have the opportunity to also study for a higher degree.