Innovate UK funding and support

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships funding


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) scheme enables businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through better use of knowledge, technology and skills.

It does so by facilitating the formation of a partnership between:

  • your business
  • an academic institute, known as the knowledge base partner
  • a recently qualified individual known as 'the associate' (usually a graduate) to facilitate the transfer of knowledge to your business

Types of KTP programmes

Technical KTPs match graduates from a specific discipline such as engineering, ICT or construction with companies undertaking projects related to their speciality.

Management KTPs match business management graduates with companies from all sectors seeking to implement strategic organisational improvements.

Projects typically last from 12 to 36 months and funding is available for up to two-thirds of the total project costs.

Benefits of taking part in KTP

Taking part in a KTP can help you to develop your business by accessing academic expertise that you don't have in-house.

A KTP is part-funded by a grant. You will need to contribute to the cost of the supervisor and the salary of the associate. The amount you will need to contribute depends on:

  • the scale and length of the project
  • the size of your company

If you are a small to medium-sized business, you will need to contribute a third of the costs. The average annual contribution to a project for an SME is around £25,000.

If you are a larger business, you may need to contribute half the cost. The average annual contribution to a project for a larger company is around £40,000.

Northern Ireland companies, knowledge providers and associates regularly feature as winners in the UK KTP annual awards.

Find out more about the KTP benefits to the business.

Eligible projects

KTP is open to any business although not all projects may be suitable. To find out if your project is suitable for a KTP, you can discuss your idea with:

  • a regional KTP adviser
  • a university or college KTP office
  • Invest Northern Ireland (NI) 

Getting support with KTP projects

Businesses in Northern Ireland can get KTP support from Invest NI. Support is also available through:

For advice on knowledge transfers and other collaborative support, you can contact Invest NI's helpline on Tel 0800 181 4422.

  • Innovation Funding Service
    0300 321 4357
  • Invest NI Helpline
    0800 181 4422