Knowledge Transfer Partnerships for Academics

KTP enables Higher Education Institutions to apply their wealth of knowledge and expertise to important business problems, facilitate collaborations that lead to measurable research impact, and provide an employment opportunity for high-calibre graduates.

They allow academics to partner with innovative businesses looking to expand their research and development capabilities, and for those academics with existing links to such companies, provide an attractive funding opportunity for further research & development projects.

Funding

KTP is classed as research related income. Partnerships are funded through a combination of the business partner and government. The level of funding contributed by the business will depend on its size – the KTP Office can advise on this.

The majority of partnerships are funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), however, an increasing number are now funded by research councils and other government bodies such as Defra, as evidenced in our recent case studies. Researchers at the University of Liverpool have recently been successful in gaining funding for KTP from the following research councils:

  • BBSRC
  • ESRC
  • EPSRC
  • NERC

The University of Liverpool has a highly successful track record in securing KTP funding. The success rate for proposals currently stands at over 95%, and grant writing is part of the service provided by the KTP Office.

Impact

KTP is a particularly attractive scheme for those looking to contribute an Impact case study in the next REF cycle. Upon conclusion, partners in each KTP project must produce a report with clear quantified results of the research. KTP is thus a scheme that will allow you to provide evidence of impact from your research, or organisations outside academia.

Further benefits

In addition to providing an opportunity to make a real impact within an innovative business, participation in a KTP has many benefits for both research, teaching, and academic outputs.

Because partnerships allow you to apply your research expertise to a practical solution, the results often lead to research publications, academic papers, and further research questions. You may be able to solve a business problem through the application of existing research, and produce publications which focus on its application in a real life setting, or you could solve the business problem with innovative research, and produce outputs based on the new knowledge generated and its application.

You can expect to gain new case studies and data for teaching, and projects for your undergraduate and/or postgraduate students. Academics often report that they are engaging in further collaboration with the company after the partnership has officially ended. In addition, KTP represents a real opportunity to create employment for your highly skilled graduates.

A sample of final reports on 15 recently completed University of Liverpool KTP projects highlights their benefits:

  • almost all resulted in opportunities for ancillary postgraduate student projects running alongside the main KTP
  • half the KTPs also produced undergraduate projects
  • two thirds of the KTPs resulted in case studies to inform teaching
  • two thirds of the KTPs produced material for conference/peer reviewed publications (one project produced 10 publications)
  • two KTPs led to licensing deals, a third led to a commercial partnership.

Your commitment

Knowledge is transferred through the Associate throughout the partnership; therefore you can expect to spend 10% of your time supervising the graduate. In the initial proposal stage, more time may be required; however, the KTP team at Business Gateway will assist you with this to minimise the impact on your time. Partnerships can vary in length, from 6 months to three years, depending on the objectives of the project.

Assistance

The KTP Office, located in Business Gateway, offers a full range of services to support you and the company from your initial enquiry through to the end of the partnership.