Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) help businesses to improve performance and increase profitability by accessing knowledge, technology and skills from a university.

A KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, a university, and a high-calibre graduate known as an associate, that offers a company a chance to collaborate on a business opportunity, idea or innovation to help the business gain the knowledge and capability it needs.

The KTP programme provides funding for partnerships addressing business challenges in any sector and any discipline where they meet the KTP funding criteria.


A KTP is funded by Innovate UK and Invest NI and can help your business to:

  • develop market leading innovative solutions
  • improve quality of product/service design
  • develop new products
  • transform and improve operation processes
  • reduce costs and increase revenue
  • enable co-creation of intellectual assets

The KTP is government funded by 60% for SMEs and up to 40% for large organisations and business of all sizes in most industries and commercial sectors can take part.

How does it work?

The associate is responsible for leading and implementing the project and is based within the business as part of the team, meeting with their academic or research supervisor on a regular basis.

The project usually lasts about two years and during that time knowledge and skills developed is transferred to existing company staff members, embedding new capabilities company-wide.

Sample outcomes and impacts

The impact of participation in KTPs on the business partner over the project lifetime and beyond has included:

  • a £113K one-off increase in profit before tax
  • a £194K investment in plant and machinery
  • £265K invested in R&D activity
  • a £967K increase in annual profits
  • three new staff employed (incl. Associate)
  • 31 staff trained
  • 86% plan for further collaboration

The KTP team have extensive experience of working with businesses having delivered over 200 KTP projects - view case studies or go to Access Ulster to search for relevant expertise, research, facilities or equipment that you may need.

KTP contact

To discuss a potential project, eligibility or find out how KTPs can help your business contact our Business Development Manager.