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A KTP enables 'Companies' to access expertise, knowledge and skills within the UK's 'Knowledge Base'.

'Companies' include:

  • Businesses in most sectors and sizes
  • Some public sector organisations notably in NHS, education and arts and culture
  • Charities

'Knowledge Bases' can be one of the following:

  • HE Institutions
  • FE Institutions
  • Research Organisations

There is also a new scheme being launched which will provide shorter KTPs (10-40 weeks in duration). Please contact us for more information at or visit the main KTP website.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)  Explained...

What is a KTP

A KTP is essentially a partnership between a Company and a Knowledge Base who work together on a development project that would typically last between one and three years and that is strategically important to the company's future.

This requires expertise from the Knowledge Base and will be a challenge for the Associate (employed to deliver the project). 

Such projects may include:

  • Product improvement
  • New product development
  • Increasing the efficiency of manufacturing and logistics processes
  • Marketing strategy development
  • Applying technology to processes
  • Application of science to business
  • Health and education performance

Who is involved in the KTP

The University of Chester as a Knowledge Base:

We are one of the fastest growing HE institutions in the country, with seven Faculties and more than 400 academic staff.

The University has knowledge and expertise in a wide range of generic and specific areas of relevance to local businesses including:

  • Marketing
  • Information Technology Solutions
  • Technical Knowledge specific to most industry sectors
  • Business Processes

For more information please contact the Research & Knowledge Transfer Office.

Objectives of KTPs

There are 3 main objectives for a KTP:

  • To facilitate the transfer of technology and the spread of technical and business skills
  • To stimulate and enhance business relevant research and training undertaken by the Knowledge Base
  • To provide company based training for Associates to enhance their business and specialist skills

Essentially, each KTP should benefit all participants, i.e.:

  • Be of strategic importance to the company
  • Require expertise from the Knowledge Base Partner
  • Be a challenge for the Associate

Benefits of KTPs

Each participating partner can benefit from the KTP as follows:

The Business:

  • Government funding for business development
  • Acquisition of knowledge and expertise
  • Opportunity to turn business ideas into reality
  • Improved financial performance
  • Improve business competitiveness through technology and knowledge transfer

The Knowledge Base:

  • Contact and collaboration with business and industry
  • Assist with strategic change in business
  • Academic and research staff development
  • Research and publication opportunities
  • Development of case studies, teaching material and student projects

The Associate:

  • Extensive professional and management training
  • Opportunity to make a valuable contribution to a business improvement
  • Professional accreditation
  • Career development

Funding KTP

KTP is a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) (formerly DIUS & DTI) programme. THE TSB are the lead funding sponsor of 18 funding organisations currently in the programme.

More information can be found at . Each project is part funded by a Government grant issued to the Knowledge Base Partner to cover the cost of participating in the KTP, with the balance of the costs coming from the company partner. The grant from the sponsor and the contribution from the company cover the costs of employing the Associate, the cost of staff from the Knowledge Base directly involved in the project, equipment and travel costs, the Knowledge Base's indirect and administrative costs and the costs associated with the development of the Associate.

What will the company have to pay?

This is determined by the number of KTP Associates, the length of the project, the size of the company and, in some cases, the location of the company/Knowledge Base. As a guide, for companies participating in a KTP for the first time their contribution can be estimated as follows:

  • Fewer than 250 employees (SME) -would be expected to contribute around a third of the total project costs i.e. £20k per year as current average annual costs are £60k
  • More than 250 employees - should expect to contribute around half of the total project costs i.e. £30k per year

The KTP grant and company contribution is paid directly to the Knowledge Base. Companies will therefore be invoiced directly by the Knowledge Base, typically quarterly in arrears.

More detailed information on the funding of KTPs can be accessed through the main KTP website.

Our Research & Knowledge Transfer Office will also be happy to answer any queries that you may have.

Setting up a KTP

There are a number of stages involved in setting up a KTP:

  1. Checking the feasibility of your idea
  2. Forming a Knowledge Transfer Partnership
  3. Completing a Grant Application and Proposal Form
  4. Submitting the Proposal
  5. Consideration of the Proposal
  6. Issue of a Grant Offer Letter
  7. Recruitment of a KTP Associate

More Information

How can we help with a KTP

Our Knowledge Transfer Team is based within the Research & Knowledge Transfer Office.

If this is the first time you are looking at working with a University, the Knowledge Transfer Team can help direct you to the relevant member of staff who may be able to help you.

The Knowledge Transfer Team can specifically assist with KTPs by:

  • Advising on potential KTPs and assessing their feasibility
  • Guiding staff on the processes involved
  • Providing administrative support including assisting with the compilation and submission of applications
  • Developing projects with the partners
  • Supporting the project management of KTP Programmes
  • Promoting KTPs to the academic community within the institution
  • Promoting KTPs to the University's graduates and undergraduates
  • Providing financial and other key management data for the duration of the project


Can any company participate in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership?

K based companies in most sectors can benefit from a KTP but it may not be appropriate for very small businesses i.e. with fewer than 5 employees. Any company seeking to establish a Knowledge Transfer Partnership will undergo a financial viability assessment by a KTP Adviser. A company participating in a KTP should be able to cover the direct and indirect costs of participating in the partnership and must also be able to sustain growth beyond this in order to benefit from the investment of public sector funds.

How long does it take to get a Knowledge Transfer Partnership underway?

It may take a minimum of 3 months from the first discussions about establishing a KTP to the acceptance of a proposal and the recruitment process for the Associate to begin. A KTP Adviser will offer guidance to increase the possibility of a proposal being approved. KTP proposals are considered by a group that meets every 5 weeks and the results of submissions are known within days of the meeting. It will then take a little longer before the Grant Offer Letter is issued to the Knowledge Base Partner i.e. the University of Chester.

Who is responsible for preparing the bid proposal?

Both the Company Partner and the Knowledge Base (University of Chester). The submission is a joint effort based on equal involvement in the proposed Project. Working together enables both parties to identify with the aims and objectives of the project and take joint responsibility from the conception of the Project to its execution. The University's Research & Knowledge Transfer Office is available to assist with drafting proposals on request.

Where are the proposals and grant claims sent?

Proposals and grant claims are sent to the national KTP Programme Office. managed under contract for the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which acts on behalf of all the KTP Sponsors (the other public sector bodies funding KTPs) by a company called Momenta. The office is responsible for the day-to-day operation, management and administration of KTPs. Momenta also maintains the KTP database and website.

What should a Company expect to contribute?

As a guide, annual company contributions for participating in a KTP are as follows:

  • A company with less than 250 employees: a third of project costs i.e. approximately £20k per KTP Associate/year
  • A company with more than 250 employees: a half of project costs i.e. approximately £30k per KTP Associate/year

N.B Where a company is part of a group, the company size is determined by the number of employees in the group as a whole.

What other costs are involved for the Company Partner?

Apart from the initial contribution that the company is required to make, the company would be expected to cover the full overhead costs of their own participation in the KTP. These may include:

  • Management and supervisory effort
  • Additional materials
  • Capital equipment
  • Accommodation
  • Advertising costs for the recruitment of the KTP Associate

Companies are also expected to contribute to the cost of equipment purchased specifically for the use of a KTP Associate.

What benefits can the Company expect from the KTP?

According to information provided by the KTP Programme Office, companies who successfully completed and reported on their KTP programmes stated that the benefits included:

  • The knowledge and experience of an additional full time member of staff
  • An increase in the overall value of the company
  • An increase in overall sales
  • Increased profitability

When will we be invoiced for the Company contribution?

Companies are typically invoiced by the Knowledge Base on a quarterly basis.

What is the role of the KTP Adviser?

The KTP Adviser has a number of objectives:

  • Determine the financial viability of the company wishing to set up the KTP
  • Identify the nearest and most suitable Knowledge Base Partner for the company
  • Liaise between the company and the potential Knowledge Base Partner to provide advice and guidance during the proposal and project definition stage
  • Maintain involvement with the Partnership once a proposal is approved by becoming a member of the Partnership's Local Management Committee and to be available to provide advice as required during the life of the Partnership
  • Assess the KTP Associate(s) in respect of ‘National Management Standards' and the crediting of units leading to the award of an NVQ (Level 4) in Management by the Chartered Management Institute
  • Report to the funding body(s) on the progress of the Partnership

Can a KTP Partnership have more than one Associate?

Yes if there is a clearly defined Project for each Associate although it is more typical that just one KTP is run at a time. However, where multiple projects are identified, the same procedure for bid submission and recruitment will be applicable for each project.

How is the KTP Associate recruited?

They are recruited as a result of open advertising and a recruitment exercise conducted jointly by the Company Partner and the Knowledge Base.

Where will the KTP Associate be based?

The Associate will be based at the Company Partner's site and will work under the direction of the Industrial Supervisor. However, the Associate will be ‘employed' by the Knowledge Base (i.e. University of Chester). The terms and conditions of this contract of employment will take into account the operational business needs of the Company Partner.

What is the KTP Associate paid?

The Associate should be paid at a market rate for the job being done. The KTP budget includes a contribution to the total cost of employment and not just the salary. If it is found that there is a need to set the salary level higher than that covered by the budget, it will be the responsibility of the company to meet the additional cost.

How frequent will the contact be with the Academic Supervisor?

Typically the Academic Supervisor will meet with the Associate one half day a week at the Company site. In addition the Supervisor and Associate will meet on a monthly basis to discuss the Project(s). The Supervisor will also be contactable at all times outside of the formal meetings.

What happens regarding Intellectual Property Rights and Confidentiality?

An agreement between the Company Partner and the Knowledge Base covering Confidentiality, Intellectual Property Rights and other such issues is signed at the beginning of the project.

What is the role of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB)?

The TSB manages the contract with Momenta on behalf of all public sector bodies funding KTP's. Staff within the TSB will approve all Partnership proposals and grant applications for KTP's after taking advice from members of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership Approval Group. The TSB will then authorise Momenta to issue Grant Offer letters.

Contact us

For more information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with the University of Chester, please contact the Knowledge Transfer Team within the Research & Knowledge Transfer Office.