Innovation & Enterprise


Transform businesses through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

Turn your knowledge and ideas into solutions with a funded collaboration that brings about real change within a business or charity.

Through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme, UCL academics can work with a UK-based business or charitable organisation on a complex strategic project.

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?

A KTP provides the funding and support for you, as a UCL academic, to join forces with an organisation and 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.

Examples of our recent KTPs

AHMM’s collaboration with the UCL Institute for Environmental Design & Engineering, based at The Bartlett, aimed to improve the environmental sustainability of AHMM's buildings. To do this, they developed a model for net-zero carbon design in high-density mixed-use developments and a corresponding decision support tool.

Aber Instruments and UCL Biochemical Engineering developed new dielectric impedance spectroscopy techniques. This online tool monitors cells, to help improve the cost efficiency and performance of manufacturing cell therapy products.

Kennedys Law LLP and UCL’s Department of Computer Science developed a new tool to help insurers predict and mitigate emerging risks. This was possible due to the collaboration’s unprecedented access to data-informed knowledge and analytics.

How the partnership benefits you

By sharing your expertise with the business or charity, you’ll be able 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. And associates are often offered a job at the end of the project.

How a KTP works

  • The business has an idea about how your 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 will lead the project and make sure its innovations take root. 

What funding is available

KTPs typically cost 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

The business 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 out more about the benefits of KTPs to academics on the KTP website

KTP academic profile

Andrea Rayat
Dr Andrea Rayat

Andrea was the academic supervisor and co-investigator on the KTP between UCL and global biotechnology company Biocatalysts Ltd.

The partnership enabled Andrea to apply her bioprocessing research to help a company gain significant market advantage.

Read about Andrea’s experience of working on a KTP >

Case studies

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.

Environmental Laboratory at the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE)
UCL helps industry tackle the scourge of damp buildings

UCL architect and scientist Dr Hector Altamirano is helping industry and government better understand moisture in buildings and the considerable economic and health consequences it can have.