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  • Writer's pictureDamon Butcher

Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2022 to 2023, round 1

Updated: Apr 22, 2022



UK registered academic institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £8 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not-for-profits.

Open date: 14/02/2022

Close date: 06/04/2022

Max Grant Size (SME): £75,000

Funding Percentage: 67%

Collaboration: Collaborative

Funding Type: Talent

Fund Provider(s): Innovate UK



The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme allows a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation (which we will refer to collectively as the ‘business partner’ from now on) 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). 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 a strategic development within the business developing new skills and gaining valuable experience. Guidance on how to apply for a KTP is provided here. Each application must be led by a knowledge base, working with a business partner and supported by a knowledge transfer adviser. If you are a business and do not yet have a relationship with a knowledge base partner, the knowledge transfer adviser can help you to identify one. By submitting an application, you are entering into a competitive process. The competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated. It takes time to prepare an application. If yours will not be ready before the close date, please apply to a later round. Visit the KTP website to find out more about the programme and the current associate roles available for graduates.

Who can apply Each KTP is a partnership between the following:

  • a UK knowledge base, acting as lead organisation and submitting the application

  • a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation

We use the term ‘business partner’ for both businesses and not-for-profit organisations. The definition KTP uses for ‘not-for-profit organisation’ includes social enterprises and charities. KTP does not support projects where the business partner is in the public sector. Knowledge base partner The knowledge base partner cannot work alone. The knowledge base partner 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 or not-for-profit organisation of any size into the Innovation Funding Service 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 letter with each application and support the project in accordance with its provision

  • provide the project secretariat

  • reach an IP agreement with the business partner before the project commences

  • agree to attend specified meetings at a location identified by the business partner

As part of their involvement in the project the knowledge base partner must provide a case study to Innovate UK using the template provided, upon completion of the project. Academic knowledge base partners must also seek to publish a minimum of 2 academic papers for publication per completed project. Catapults must create at least 2 industry focused publications per project. Your business partner must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the knowledge base partner to collaborate on a project. When the business partner accepts their invitation, they will need to:

  • login or create an account

  • enter estimates of their own project costs, which may be updated as part of the final reporting process

Business partner Business partners cannot work alone. They must develop the project with a UK knowledge base who can provide the right skills to meet the knowledge gap within the business. We encourage business partners to approach Innovate UK KTN or knowledge bases to discuss the suitability of KTP for their specific circumstances. To collaborate with the knowledge base, the business partner must:

  • be a UK registered business or a not-for-profit organisation of any size

  • have 2 or more full time equivalent employees

  • complete the application form in partnership with the knowledge base partner

  • provide evidence of their ability to financially support their contribution,

  • host the associate 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 intellectual property (IP) agreement with the knowledge base before the project commences

The business partner must provide financial accounts from the current financial year and the previous two years. Other supporting documentation may be required. For businesses less than 3 years old, the knowledge base or Knowledge Transfer Adviser will give further guidance. For more information on business sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. If a business is part of a group, it is the size of the group that determines the proportion of eligible costs we will fund. The KTP programme is accessible to any UK registered business. This is normally demonstrated on a public register, such as on Companies House.The registered name and registration number provided must match the official public register. UK subsidiary businesses of overseas parent companies are eligible, provided they are individually registered in the UK. The knowledge base partner and the business partner must sign a joint commitment statement. The business partner’s registered name must be used for both the application and the joint commitment statement. You must deliver an exploitation plan during your project. By completing all sections of the application form you will have completed your initial exploitation plan. Subcontractors Subcontractors are not allowed in this competition.

No subsidy This competition provides funding that is not classed by Innovate UK as a subsidy. You should still seek independent legal advice on what this means for you, before applying. More information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent BEIS guidance. ‘No subsidy’ status is only granted to organisations which declare that they will not use the funding:

  • in any way which gives them selective economic or commercial advantage

  • in any way which would determine the funding as a subsidy as defined by the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement

It is the responsibility of the lead organisation to make sure all collaborators in the project remain compliant with these requirements. It is important to note that it is the activity that an organisation is engaged in as part of the project and not its intentions, that define whether any support provided could be considered a subsidy. Further information If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime you should take independent legal advice. We cannot advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations. If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding Find out about the cost of participating in KTP and understand which project costs are eligible for funding. Any funding is provided on a no subsidy basis. This means you must publish or make all project outputs openly available on a non-selective basis. If you decide to commercially exploit project outputs, you can only do so with no selective advantage. Contribution from Innovate UK Innovate UK has allocated up to £8 million in this round of the KTP programme, which will contribute towards the total costs of the individual projects. The grant contribution to your project may be funded wholly or in part by one or more of the KTP financial supporters. You must choose at least one of the following financial supporters:

  • UKRI KTP (Innovate UK)

  • Invest Northern Ireland

  • Scottish Funding Council

  • Welsh Government

  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

The delivery of the KTP programme is also supported by the UK Research Councils. If their involvement could be beneficial to your project, this must be indicated in the application. 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

  • SME’s may receive a grant contribution up to 67% of eligible project costs, subject to a cap, with the business paying the balance

Eligible costs depend on a number of factors, including the:

  • duration of the project

  • registered location of project

  • size of the business partner

Find out about the cost of participating in KTP and understand which project costs are eligible for funding. Contribution from the business partner The business partner in your application must provide funding towards the project delivery. The amount depends on the:

  • total eligible project costs

  • duration of the project

  • registered location of the business

  • location of the project

  • size of the business

Additionally, the business partner must fund:

  • items listed in the additional costs section of the application form

  • the time spent on the project by their own staff

  • other non-eligible costs such as the purchase of capital equipment

  • commercialisation of the project outputs

Application rules Number of applications Each knowledge base can collaborate with any number of business partners. Each business partner (including separate businesses within a business group) can only take part in up to 4 concurrent KTP funded projects. Additional applications may be allowed at the discretion of the programme manager. You must provide justification by email to at least 20 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request. Previous applications You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition. We will not award you funding if you have previously failed to:

  • exploit other Innovate UK or UKRI funded projects

  • comply with the grant terms and conditions of any Innovate UK or UKRI funded projects

Knowledge Transfer Advisers Applications must be supported by an Innovate UK appointed Knowledge Transfer Adviser (KTA). The adviser will provide the knowledge base and business with guidance throughout the application process. To support all projects equitably, the adviser may set a timetable for the knowledge base and business during the development of an application. Should the timetable or the guidance offered not be followed, the KTA may choose not to support an application. Any projects submitted without adviser approval will be withdrawn from the competition.

Your project 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:

  • how it helps the business with a real need

  • how it fits the strategic aims of the business partner

  • a genuine market opportunity and a viable route to market

  • how the knowledge gained will be embedded within the business partner

  • what makes your project innovative

Projects we will not fund We 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 in the public sector

  • 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


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