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Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP)

Fund Name

Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP) Round 6

Project Length

12-36 months

Project Value

£8.5k per month



The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme allows a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation to partner with a ‘knowledge base partner’, which is 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

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 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
  • what new knowledge is required by the business
  • what new capabilities will be embedded as a result of the KTP

The KTP 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


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.

Each Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a partnership between the following:

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

The definition KTP uses for not-for-profit organisations, charities or charitable businesses include:

  • a registered charity
  • a registered Community Interest Company
  • a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation
  • a charitable company
  • an exempt or excepted charity
  • a registered charitable industrial and provident society or charitable Cooperative

Knowledge base partner

The knowledge base partner cannot work alone, 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 (IFS) 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

Business Partners

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.

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 two 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 associates 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


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