Knowledge Transfer Partnership

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Watch our video case study: In 2018 we worked with furniture, fixtures and equipment supplier, SouthernsBroadstock, on a data project that helped them grow their business

If your business is facing a new challenge, whether it be significant growth aspirations, process and supply chain improvement, or implementing new leadership capability, then you could benefit from our expertise through a Government Funded initiative called a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). On this page you will find information relating to:

What is a KTP?

A standard knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) is a collaborative project between the University, a business and a suitably qualified graduate or post-graduate. A KTP enables a business to access knowledge, technology or skills within the University in order to resolve a strategically important business or technical issue; while allowing academics to test, apply and translate their research into industry.

It is a 3-way partnership comprising the business (company partner), university (knowledge base) who collaborate to employ a KTP Associate (graduate or postgraduate or appropriately experienced candidate from anywhere in the world) who delivers the project, supported by an academic team and company supervision.

The KTP Associate is fully employed by the university but is wholly or partly based at the company, (working under the company’s terms and conditions) to ensure new knowledge and innovation is fully embedded into the company.

KTP projects are designed to address a strategically important knowledge gap in the business underpinned by a robust business case demonstrating commercial (and other) impact through the application and embedding of innovation. They are a UK Government scheme funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency. Collaboration is key to the success of these partnerships which have transformed over 12,000 organisations big and small and across every sector in the UK.

Businesses and third-sector organisations of all sizes registered in the UK are eligible for KTP funding.

KTP projects last between 12-36 months.

What is a Management KTP (MKTP)?

Innovate UK and BEIS introduced a new programme called Management KTPs (MKTPs), which are more specific to business schools and address a company’s management capability in order to enhance overall productivity. They are unique in that they are underpinned by management theory and focus largely on implementation of change in management and leadership.  They can include challenges such as:

  • Monitoring and target setting
  • Communication and motivation
  • Organisation, resource planning and strategic thinking
  • Alternative business models and associated profit margins
  • Detailed market analysis to discover new opportunities
  • Entrepreneurial thinking and identifying new revenue streams
  • Benchmarking, competitor analysis and best practice capture
  • Business scale-up practices
  • Organisational/ behavioural psychology and cultural change
  • Analysing efficiency savings & implementing productivity drivers
  • Operations Management, Supply Chain and business process improvements
  • Enhanced business strategy, with cascaded aims and KPIs
  • Executive leadership, strategic thinking and decision making
  • Post-COVID recovery and resilience
  • A range of the above combined in an overarching strategy

What are the benefits for businesses?

The UK Government published a report in 2015 that demonstrated that there are substantial benefits to businesses as a result of undertaking a KTP.

With such a wide range of KTP projects the business outputs can vary considerably, but the average business benefits for a project included:

  • an increase of more than £1 million in annual profits before tax
  • the creation of 2 new jobs, in addition to recruitment of the associate
  • an additional 31 staff trained

Who could benefit from an MKTP?

Lots of organisations could benefit from MKTPs, including:

  • Not exclusively, but primarily growth-oriented SMEs seeking to build and execute their ambitious management strategy by introducing better management practices. Large corporations are also eligible on a case-by-case basis.
  • Businesses seeking significant productivity gains, recognising that good management and leadership can help deliver this.
  • Organisations looking to up-skill (and retain) their people and make step-change improvements in productivity by deploying industry-leading practices and innovation processes.

What are the features of MKTP projects?

  • Transformative, driving strategic change
  • Incorporate a range of management practices to build a management strategy
  • Linked across business functions and aligned to core company objectives
  • Business case demonstrating commercial impact

What does a standard KTP and MKTP cost?

KTP project costs are funded jointly by a government grant and the business partner in a ratio determined by the size of the business:

  • An SME (with less than 250 employees) contributes 33% of total project costs (in the region of £32,000 – £35,000 p.a.).
  • A large business (with more than 250 employees) contributes 50% of total project costs (in the region of £45,000 – £50,000 p.a.).

Case study

Read our case study, to find out how our expertise helped a furniture, fixtures and equipment supplier capture the value of their data to drive their business forward. 

Want to discuss an opportunity?

Contact our Innovation Development Team ( within the University of Leeds to discuss your challenge or visit Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at the University of Leeds.

Our team also offer complete end-to-end project support, from initial contact with a business through to developing your proposal and submission.

Once the grant has been awarded, we offer support to recruit a KTP Associate, as well as project management support throughout the life of the project.