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Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2023 to 2024 Round 2

Fund Name

Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2023 to 2024 Round 2

Project Length

12-36 months

Project Value

Up to £300k



The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme allows a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation, (which will be referred 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 strategic development within the business developing new skills and gaining valuable experience.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

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.

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

Innovate UK 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


Each KTP is a partnership between the following:

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

To go into detail about what is considered a not-for-profit organisation or charitable business, and public sector organisations, please get in touch.

Knowledge base partner

The knowledge base partner cannot work alone.

The knowledge base partner must lead the project and must:

  • be a UK registered higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, Research Technology Organisation (RTO) or Catapult
  • be registered as a knowledge base with the KTP programme
  • invite one UK registered business, not for profit organisation or eligible public sector organisation into the Innovation Funding Service application
  • invite one knowledge transfer adviser to support the application
  • not have ownership of 50% or more of the business partner or a controlling interest via a shareholder agreement
  • recruit associate roles in a demonstrably open and fair manner
  • allow associates to participate in the typical working patterns of the business for the majority of the project, unless working virtually, this should take place at the business partner’s premises
  • agree to provide at least half a day per week of academic support for the associate
  • complete the application form in partnership with the business
  • make sure the application is completed and submitted with the agreement of a knowledge transfer adviser before the competition closes
  • submit a current full economic costing (fEC) letter with each application if you are using the full fEC costing model and support the project in accordance with its provision
  • provide the project secretariat
  • reach an intellectual property (IP) agreement with the business partner before the project commences
  • agree to attend specified meetings at a location identified by the business partner
  • ensure that none of the proposed academic team are directors, consultants or otherwise engaged by the business or group

As part of their involvement in the project, the knowledge base partner must provide a case study to Innovate UK using the template provided, upon completion of the project.

Academic knowledge base partners must also seek to publish a minimum of 2 academic papers for publication per completed project.

Catapults must create at least 2 industry-focused publications per project.

Business partner 

Business partners cannot work alone. They must develop the project with a UK knowledge base that can provide the right skills to meet the knowledge gap within the business. Innovate UK encourage business partners to approach Innovate UK KTN or knowledge bases to discuss the suitability of KTP for their specific circumstances.

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
  • determine the size of their business or group
  • declare the total number of employees within the business and if part of a group of businesses, within the group
  • complete the application form in partnership with the knowledge base partner
  • provide evidence of their ability to financially support their contribution
  • host the associate and provide them with day-to-day supervisory support
  • host monthly supervisor, Local Management Committee (LMC) and other mandatory meetings at their own expense
  • provide evidence that demonstrates their ability to financially support the exploitation of the project
  • reach a written IP agreement with the knowledge base before the project commences

The business partner must provide financial accounts from the current financial year and the previous two years. Other supporting documentation may be required. For businesses less than 3 years old, the knowledge base or Knowledge Transfer Adviser will give further guidance.

The size, location and type of your business determine the proportion of eligible costs Innovate UK will fund. If the business is part of a group, it is the overall size of the group should be declared.

Project size

Typically, a project’s total costs are £8,500 per month. Projects must be between 12 and 36 months. A proportion of the knowledge base partners’ costs will be funded by Innovate UK. The remainder of the project costs are paid by the business partner.

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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