Innovation is the lifeblood of any business. But how do you access and embed the expertise needed to make it happen? A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) may be the perfect solution.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme allows the UK registered businesses or not-for-profit organisations 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).
KTP can help your business:
- Embed expertise, generate new knowledge, expand capability and foster a culture of innovation
- Drive competitive advantage through accelerated innovation and the possibility of creating Intellectual Property
- Gain privileged and cost-effective access to the UK’s world-class knowledge base and resources
- Increase revenue/profits through access to new markets, new product development, increased productivity and better processes
- Benefit from the strategic input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser
This flyer tells you more about the benefits your company could receive.
Part of the cost of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership is funded by a grant from Innovate UK or other government co-funders that you apply for in a competitive bid for submissions (there is a success rate for applications of around 90%). The remainder of the project cost is met through a cash payment by your company.
Project costs are variable, but can typically be around £75,000 – £90,000 per project year. For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the grant rate is 67% of the project cost and for large companies 50%.
The cost of a KTP is comparable to employing a well-qualified graduate, but includes so much more:
- Access to the exceptional resources of the university
- A dedicated team to deliver a strategic project
- Expert academic input brings a breadth and depth of knowledge to support the graduate and the project
- The consultancy of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser who is there at every stage to support and help the project succeed
- The partnership introduces new capabilities and embeds knowledge
- The risk of developing the innovation project is shared with the government co-funders
- The wider support and opportunities offered by links to the Knowledge Transfer Network – one of Innovate UK’s delivery partners.
To apply for a KTP, companies should:
- Be UK registered and of sufficient size to support the project.
- Have the financial capacity to make the required contribution to the cost of running a KTP
- Be aware that KTP can have a long-term legacy that can be measured over five years, as well as a shorter-term impact
- Be able to show that their project demonstrates Impact, Innovation, Challenge and Cohesiveness
If your grant application is approved (nearly 90% of applications are successful), the university or research organisation will recruit a suitably qualified graduate (known as the Associate), usually with a Master’s or Ph.D., to work on the project, based at your company.
The Associate will be the conduit for change, transferring and implementing the knowledge generated and providing feedback from you to the academic partner, who will devote 0.5 days per week to your project.
Your Knowledge Transfer Adviser will visit every 3 – 4 months to provide ongoing support to you, and coaching and mentoring support to the Associate. S/he can access colleagues elsewhere in the network to help your business fully exploit the project.
The length of KTP varies from 12 – 36 months, depending on the nature of the project and the requirements of your business.
Successful applications are partially funded on the following basis: – large companies may receive a grant contribution of up to 50% of eligible project costs, subject to a cap, with the business paying the balance – SMEs may receive a grant contribution up to 67% of eligible project costs, subject to a cap, with the business paying the balance.
How To Apply?
In the first instance, you should talk to a Knowledge Transfer Adviser, the local expert provided by Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), who can answer all your questions about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, checking the feasibility of your idea and its suitability for funding. Advisers can then help find an academic partner and draw up a grant application with you, and help you throughout the lifetime of the project to shape, manage and deliver it on time.
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