Innovation & Enterprise


Apply your research through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

Turn your knowledge and ideas into solutions with a funded collaboration that transforms a business, charity, or public sector organisation.

Through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme, UCL academics can work with a UK-based business, charity, or public sector organisation on a strategic innovation project.

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?

For over 40 years, KTPs have been helping organisations improve their productivity and innovation by exposing them to the leading research in the UK.

A KTP provides funding and support for UCL academics of all disciplines to collaborate with organisations to employ a high-calibre associate to solve a significant business challenge. Together you’ll work for one to three years on developing a new product, process, service, or efficiency saving.

The opportunity enables academics to play a part in helping an organisation grow and develop. The organisation benefits from the latest thinking and significant support in running the project.

This unique approach is successful at creating win-win situations for academics, businesses and associates as well as external stakeholders such as government and communities.

Learn more about KTPs and the experiences of three UCL academics in our video:

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/ad6jC69e

Cost of a KTP

KTPs typically cost around £100,000 to £120,000 a year at UCL. Innovate UK will fund a substantial part of these costs: 

  • 50% for a large company (more than 250 employees), or some public sector organisations
  • 67% for a small to medium size enterprise (SME)
  • 75% for a non-profit

The partner organisation will then fund the remaining percentage.

Funding rounds open throughout the year, approximately every two months. Exact dates are listed on the UKRI website.

Who is involved in a KTP

The process of a KTP usually starts with a business having an idea about how existing research could help increase their profits or efficiencies.

You and an academic colleague will jointly commit half a day a week to overseeing the introduction of these new ideas.

UCL employs an Associate, usually at master's level or above, who’s based full-time at the business. They'll lead the project and make sure its innovations take root.

The UCL KTP team and a Knowledge Transfer Advisor from Innovate UK will support the partnership throughout the full lifecycle of the project.

Benefits of participating in a KTP

By sharing your expertise with the organisation, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • apply knowledge and expertise to important commercial challenges
  • publish your findings
  • initiate new student projects
  • develop business-relevant teaching materials
  • extend the partnership into new areas
  • identify new research themes
  • contribute to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise
  • develop strategic relationships with regional and national organisations

The company partner benefits too, with a significant increase in annual profits. Associates are often offered a job by the partner organisation at the end of the project.

Find out more

Learn more about how a KTP works and the support provided by the UCL KTP team in this video:

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/h38egg3A

Find out more about KTPs by:

Get in touch

It usually takes nine months to get all the pieces of a KTP in place. That includes creating a detailed workplan, applying to Innovate UK for the funds, and recruiting an Associate. We’ll support you throughout the project, and are delighted to have a 95% success rate for applications.

To discuss a potential project and start your application, fill in an expression of interest form.