Brighton & Hove Albion

Steering: Data Switch Partnerships: what they’re and how you can apply

What is a knowledge transfer partnership?

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) program helps UK businesses innovate and grow. This is done by linking with an academic or research institution and a graduate.

A KTP enables a company to bring new skills and the latest academic mindset to carry out a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.

The academic partner (so-called knowledge base) helps develop the project, provides scientific input and recruits a suitable graduate, the so-called associate. You act as the employer of the associate, who then works for the company for the majority of the project.

The program can last anywhere from 12 to 36 months, depending on the project and the company’s needs.

Success story of the knowledge transfer partnership: Trelleborg Applied Technologies

who can participate

Each KTP is a 3-way partnership between:

  • any size UK based company or non-profit organization (including social enterprises and charities)
  • a knowledge base. This could be a university, college, research and technology organization or catapult in the UK
  • a suitably qualified graduate with the ability to lead a strategic business project

KTP for companies

Attending a KTP can help you develop your business. You can acquire academic expertise that you do not have in-house. This can improve your business processes and performance, and help you become more competitive and productive.

A KTP is partially financed by a grant. You have to contribute to the total cost of the project.

The amount of the contribution depends on the scope and duration of the project. It also depends on the size of your company. Typically:

  • Small and medium-sized companies contribute around a third of the project costs with around 35,000 per year
  • large companies contribute around 55,000 per year or half of the project costs

KTP for knowledge databases

Knowledge base partners participating in a KTP create, on average, more than 3 new research projects and 2 research papers for each project.

Most knowledge databases have their own KTP office. These offices work with the business and scientific partners who want to work together to make the project a reality. You can also help with applying to Innovate UK.

If you would like to become a KTP knowledge base, please contact or call 0300 321 4357. Our telephone lines are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding public holidays). )

KTP for graduates

KTP is one of the largest graduate recruitment programs in the UK. There are over 300 vacancies each year for graduates (so-called associates) to lead KTP projects. The successful completion of a KTP project often leads to a permanent position.

Each employee receives a special training and development budget that supports:

  • project-specific development training required
  • Training courses that support the comprehensive development of the employee

Visit the KTP website to learn more about the program.

Further information and options can be found at:

KTP partner Lydia Chan at a meeting with colleagues in the Renown production facility.

How to apply

Every application must be guided by a knowledge base that works with a company.

If you already have a knowledge base partnership or know who you would like to work with on a KTP, you should contact that organization’s KTP office.

If you are interested in participating in a KTP but do not yet have a knowledge database partner, you should contact KTN. You will be:

  • Check the feasibility of your idea and say whether it is suitable
  • Help with contacting knowledge bases that can assist you in developing a KTP application

Send in your application

KTP applications can only be submitted from a registered knowledge database.

A KTP application must be filled out jointly by the prospective company and the knowledge database. Each application is supported by a knowledge transfer advisor appointed by Innovate UK.

It should contain information about each of the participants, their goals, proposed tasks, and outcomes for the employee.

To review projects funded by Innovate UK, you can view our transparency data

What happens after the application

The applications are evaluated by a group of experts. You will usually be notified of the result within 12 weeks or less of the end of the competition.

If your partnership is successful, you will receive a formal grant offer letter.

As soon as our offer has been accepted, you can start hiring an employee. Recruiting should be done jointly by the knowledge database and the business partner. The associate’s employment contract is concluded with the knowledge database.

Dates and deadlines

The KTP program runs continuously throughout the year. This table contains the list of the current opening and closing dates for all KTP competitions. Please check these dates regularly as they can change.

Round Opening date Graduation Date
KTP R5 20-21 November 2, 2020 January 27, 2021
KTP R1 21-22 February 8, 2021 April 14, 2021
KTP R2 21-22 April 19, 2021 June 30, 2021
KTP R3 21-22 July 5, 2021 September 29, 2021
KTP R4 21-22 October 4, 2021 December 1, 2021
KTP R5 21-22 December 6, 2021 February 2, 2022

All competitions are listed in the Innovation Funding Service

Find and contact your local KT advisor

If you have difficulty reaching your local KT advisor, contact KTN online or call 03333 403250.

KT Consultant – London and South East

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