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Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2021 to 2022, round 5

Application Deadline: Wednesday 2 February 2022 11:00am

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme allows a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation (which we will refer to collectively as the ‘business partner’ from now on) to partner with a UK higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, RTO or Catapult (which we will refer to as the ‘knowledge base partner’).

This partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. The knowledge base partner will recruit 1 or 2 graduates (known as ‘associates’) to work on the project.

Each application must be led by a knowledge base, working with a business partner. If you are from a knowledge base that has not yet developed a project, get started by reading the KTP guidance. If you are from a business, contact the Innovate UK KTN.

By applying for this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. The competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated. It takes time to prepare an application. If yours will not be ready before the close date, please apply to a later round.Visit the KTP website to find out more about the programme and the current roles available for graduates.


This award is provided on a no subsidy basis. This means you must publish or make all project outputs openly available on a non-selective basis. If you decide to commercially exploit project outputs, you can only do so with no selective advantage.

Each KTP is a partnership between the following:

  • a UK knowledge base, acting as lead organisation and submitting the application
  • a UK registered business or not-for-profit organisation

Your project can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on the project requirements.

KTP does not support projects with public sector organisations.

Knowledge base partner

The knowledge base partner cannot work alone.

The knowledge base partner must lead the project and must:

  • be a UK registered higher education (HE) or further education (FE) institution, research technology organisation (RTO) or Catapult
  • invite one UK registered business of any size or not-for-profit organisation into the Innovation Funding Service
  • invite one knowledge transfer adviser
  • not act in any way to gain selective commercial or economic advantage from the outputs of the project
  • recruit associate roles in a demonstrably open and fair manner
  • allow associates to carry out the majority of the project at the business partner’s premises
  • provide academic support for the associate
  • make sure the application is completed and submitted before the competition closes

Your business partner must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the knowledge base partner to collaborate on a project. When the business partner accepts their invitation, they will need to:

  • login or create an account
  • enter estimates of their own project costs, which may be updated as part of the final reporting process

Business partner

Business partners cannot work alone. They must develop the project with a knowledge base of their choice. We encourage business partners to approach knowledge bases directly.

To collaborate with the knowledge base, the business partner must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, or a not-for-profit organisation
  • have more than 2 employees
  • demonstrate its ability to financially support its contribution to the project
  • accept an invitation from a knowledge base to participate in a project and complete their parts of the application form
  • provide details of their financial accounts from the past 3 years
  • provide supervisory support for the associate
  • host the associate

The definition KTP uses for ‘not-for-profit organisation’ includes social enterprises and charities.

We use the term ‘business partner’ for both businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

The knowledge base partner and the business partner must sign a joint commitment statement.

You must deliver an exploitation plan during your project. By completing all sections of the application form you will have completed your initial exploitation plan.


Subcontractors are not allowed in this competition.

How to Apply

Each knowledge base can collaborate on any number of applications.

Each business partner (including separate businesses within a business group) can take part in up to 4 KTP funded projects at any one time.

Additional applications may be allowed at the discretion of the programme manager.

You must provide justification by email to at least 20 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

Previously submitted applications

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

This competition provides funding that is not classed by Innovate UK as a subsidy. You should still seek independent legal advice on what this means for you, before applying.

Official Website: Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2021 to 2022, round 5



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