Government support that enables your spinout to stay engaged with Imperial and improve your bottom line.  

One way that spinout companies maintain links with Imperial is by partnering with the College on joint research. This allows the companies to benefit from expertise across the College, and not necessarily just from the lab or department they originated in. 

As a spinout founder, you may be able to access government support to fund these collaborations through the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme, which facilitates collaborations between universities and innovative companies.  

The KTP programme, overseen by Innovate UK, is designed to support is for any business (including spinouts) that wants to partner with a university on a small project (12 months to 3 years) that will have a positive effect on their bottom line.  

A recent graduate, postgrad or postdoc is hired to work four days a week in the company and one day a work at Imperial or another university, with their salary split between the government and the business. The project is overseen at the university end by an academic who brings their knowledge and experience to the problem (they spend 10% of their time on the project), while the Associate works on the problem – all supported by Knowledge Transfer Advisers from Innovate UK.  

This helps to facilitate knowledge transfer and innovation in order to drive innovation in your company’s products, services or processes.  

For small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), like most new spinouts, the terms are particularly favourable: they pay a third of the associate’s salary while Innovate UK pays two thirds. (For larger businesses, the split is 50:50.) The funding from Innovation UK is a grant rather than an investment – it doesn’t need to be repaid and they take no stake in the company.   

Most applications to set up a KTP are successful, and the average increase in profits for participating companies is measured in the £100,000s.  

To find out more, contact your faculty’s Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation team.