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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership?

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) helps UK businesses to improve competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge, technology and skills that are available within the University, through the development of collaborative partnerships which stimulate innovation and can transform the participating organisations.

Southampton Solent University has been involved with 12 KTPs to date.


How does a Knowledge Transfer Partnership work?

They offer businesses the opportunity to work in partnership with an academic institution to obtain knowledge and expertise to which they currently have no access, to address their business challenges and embed sustainable innovation.

The knowledge sought is embedded into the company through a project or projects undertaken by a recently qualified person (known as the KTP associate) recruited specifically to work on that project.

How long will a Knowledge Transfer Partnership last?

KTPs can vary from 12 months to three years, depending on the needs of the organisation and the desired outcomes.

Part-funded by the Government they are a cost effective way to gain access to well-qualified people and experts who can also help to take businesses forward. The programme is UK-wide, headed by Innovate UK.


Government funds part of the cost of running the KTP project. The level of grant that the partnership can receive depends on the company. The grant is paid through the academic partner.

As an example a small or medium sized enterprise might contribute around a third of the project costs with the remainder being paid as grant. Currently average project costs at Southampton Solent University are around £45k.

Benefits for the company partner

Latest information shows that, on average, the business benefits that can be expected from a single KTP project are:

  • An increase of over £240k in annual profits before tax.
  • An increase in the skills of existing staff.
  • The creation of two genuine new jobs.

Application process

Potential applicants can discuss possible project ideas with the Research and Innovation team at Southampton Solent who can provide advice on eligibility and timescales and work with all the potential partners to develop the joint proposals.

Contact Katie Hornby, Knowledge Exchange and Business Development Manager on ext. 3794 or email

Who is eligible?

KTP has worked with over 3,000 organisations. From manufacturing to design, sustainability to marketing, any business sector, including third sector and public sector organisations, and businesses of all sizes, can take part.

Page last updated on Tuesday 19 April 2016 at 9.44am.


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