Search our site
Search our site

Knowledge transfer partnerships for business

If you have a strategic challenge which is central to the development of your organisation, but perhaps lack the skills or resources to address it, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) may offer the solution.

KTP enables businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance. This is achieved through forming a three-way partnership between your business, a university, and a talented graduate. This allows you to access specialist skills and expertise to help your business develop. The programme is cost-effective, as it is part-funded by the Government. Projects last up to three years.

Benefits of KTP for businesses

  • Access qualified people and experts to lead new projects and help take your organisation forward.
  • Develop innovative solutions to help your organisation grow.
  • Increase your competitive advantage and profitability.
  • Improve your performance/business operations.

According to Innovate UK based on figures from 2011-2016, from a single KTP, a business could expect on average:

  • A significant increase in pre-tax profit during the lifetime of the project and for the 3 years following completion of the project;
  • A significant increase in exports for the 3 years following completion of the project and the creation of two new jobs.

The KTP process

  • Check the feasibility of your idea by contacting Kingston University.
  • Complete an online application form.
  • Consideration of proposals.
  • Issue of a grant offer letter.
  • Recruitment of a graduate (associate).
  • KTP begins.

A dedicated member of Kingston University's Business and Enterprise team will work with you throughout the lifetime of a project, in conjunction with a KTP Advisor from Innovate UK.

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.

[back to top]

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

One of our expert team will meet you and discuss your organisation's needs. Our Enterprise  team can recommend a KTP or a range of other solutions available.

[back to top]

How much will a KTP cost me?

A typical example in London would be an SME contribution of 33% which will equal about £20,000–£21,000 per annum. Large companies will contribute 50% which will be about a £32,000–£35,000 contribution annually. You must cover indirect costs, management and supervisory effort, implementation, associated materials and equipment expenditure.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

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; and
  • a challenge that will stretch the graduate and offer them a chance to apply their knowledge.

Projects such as new product development, establishment of new operational processes, or development of new client services may be suitable for this type of assistance.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

What support will I get from Kingston 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.

[back to top]