Innovation & Enterprise


Grow your business through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

Take your business to the next level with the academic know-how and funding that brings about real change.

Through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme, you can improve your business’s productivity and performance with the input of UCL’s world-leading academics.

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?

A KTP provides the funding and support for you to join forces with an academic team and a highly skilled graduate, using the latest research to help grow your business. Together you’ll work for one to three years on developing a new product, process, service or efficiency saving.

The scheme is open to UK-based companies and charitable organisations of all sizes. 

Examples of our recent KTPs

  • Numbermix is collaborating with IOE, UCL's faculty of education and society, on the design of a digital education platform for teachers and schoolchildren. 
  • UCL Physics & Astronomy and UCL Chemical Engineering are using advanced chemistry simulation techniques to set up a Digital Lab for BP and solve the challenges of oil and gas production.

How the partnership benefits you

As a business or charitable organisation, you’ll be able to:

  • solve your strategic challenge with world-leading academics from UCL
  • increase your annual pre-tax profits by six or seven figures
  • create additional jobs (average three new jobs created for each KTP)
  • embed a new capability in your organisation
  • enhance the skills and knowledge of your staff

The other partners benefit too, with the academic team publishing its findings and many companies choosing to employ the graduate afterwards.

How a KTP works

  1. You’ll have an idea of how academic know-how could transform your business, but don’t yet have the expertise in house.
  2. You’ll be partnered with two academics who have the knowledge you need. They’ll jointly commit half a day a week to overseeing the project.
  3. Together you’ll recruit a graduate, usually at master's level or above, who’s employed by UCL but works on site as part of your team. They’ll lead the project and make sure its innovations take root. 

What funding is available

A KTP typically costs around £100,000 to £120,000 a year.

Innovate UK, the government funding body, will cover a substantial part of these costs: 

  • 67% funding for an SME 
  • 50% funding for a larger company

Your organisation will then need to pay the remaining percentage.

Process and timings

Funding rounds take place throughout the year, roughly every two to three months.

It can take at least nine months to get all the pieces of a KTP in place. That includes applying for the funds, creating a detailed workplan and recruiting an associate.

You’ll be supported at every stage by our KTP Manager and a Knowledge Transfer Advisor from Innovate UK.

Next steps

To find out more, discuss a potential project and start your application, email ktp@ucl.ac.uk or call us on 020 3108 6210.

You can also find more about what a KTP can offer your business on the KTP website.

Case study

Bioprocessing technology in a lab
Biocatalysts Ltd partner with UCL to tap into revolutionary bioprocessing technology

Global biotechnology company Biocatalysts Ltd is accessing cutting-edge bioprocessing technology developed at UCL to gain market advantage.

Two design images of a building and a photo of the completed building. Logos for DesignBuilder, Innovate UK and UCL
DesignBuilder joins forces with UCL to lead the way in building performance assessment and modelling

DesignBuilder Software is drawing on UCL’s specialist expertise to help organisations reduce their environmental impact with new ‘in-use’ performance evaluation tools for buildings.

KTP Associate profile

Nishesh Jain
Nishesh Jain

Nishesh was the Associate for UCL’s KTP with software company DesignBuilder.

Working with UCL academics, Nishesh helped develop tools to enable DesignBuilder to lead the way in a new area of building performance assessments.

Read about Nishesh's experience of being a KTP Associate >