Turn ideas into real world solutions through a funded industry knowledge transfer partnership, a dynamic collaboration between Imperial, an external organisation, and a graduate KTP associate who can drive forward a strategic innovation project.

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership is a programme offered by UKRI Innovate UK that forms dynamic partnerships between academics and companies, facilitating the transfer of research into new tools, products or services in industry.

A KTP can help companies to access the expertise they need to innovate, providing an opportunity to work with the world-leading research community at Imperial to help deliver strategic innovation projects. This could involve developing new products or processes, accessing new markets or improving productivity in an industry.

With access to our world-leading research community and commercialisation experts, a knowledge transfer partnership with Imperial is the perfect way for a business to pursue innovation

How does it work?

Imperial is the academic partner (known as the knowledge base) and will work with a business to:

  • develop a project;
  • provide academic input;
  • recruit a suitable graduate, known as an associate.

Imperial acts as the employer of the associate, who then works at the business partner for the majority of the project.

There are two types of KTP:

  • classic KTPs focus on developing new or better products and services;
  • management KTPs focus on developing better businesses by enhancing processes and building management capability.

A KTP project can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on the challenge and the needs of the business. All of the knowledge gained during this time is embedded in the business, providing a valuable base to build on long after the project has finished.

What businesses can apply?

SMEs, companies, and not-for-profits who wish to apply for a KTP should:

  • be UK based and of sufficient size to support the project;
  • have the financial capacity to make the required contribution to the cost of running a Knowledge Transfer Partnership;
  • be aware that KTPs can have a long-term legacy that can be measured over five years as well as shorter term impact;
  • be able to show that their project demonstrates impact, innovation, challenge and cohesiveness.

Why Imperial?

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Imperial will establish a beneficial collaboration for all parties. 

Case study: Read about our Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Rivertrace.



A KTP with Imperial can help a business to innovate, compete in new markets and increase profitability.

From delivering improvements to existing products and supporting the development of novel products and systems, to creating frameworks that improve efficiencies in processes and upskill staff. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can help businesses:

  • embed expertise, generate new knowledge, expand capability and foster a culture of innovation;
  • drive competitive advantage through accelerated innovation and the possibility of creating Intellectual Property;
  • gain privileged and cost-effective access to the UK’s world-class knowledge base and resources;
  • increase revenue/profits through access to new markets, new product development, increased productivity and better processes;
  • benefit from the strategic input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser.

Our academics

Working on a KTP gives our academics the opportunity to develop business-relevant teaching and research, apply knowledge and expertise to important organisational problems, and identify new research themes and undergraduate/postgraduate projects.

Widely seen as the 'gold standard' in knowledge exchange, work from a KTP project can also be used as evidence in the increasing demand for economic impact of research investment.

Why work on a KTP project?

  • Business relevant teaching and research, and the ability to apply knowledge and expertise to real-world problems;
  • On average three new research projects and two research papers were created for each KTP project
  • Source of valuable research income
  • Identifying new research themes and contributing to the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Leading a rewarding and ongoing collaboration with innovative companies requiring research-based expertise to succeed
  • New opportunity Accelerated Knowledge Transfer to Innovate (AKT2I) Pilot Scheme
  • Publishing high-quality journals and conference papers.

Become a KTP associate

Working on a KTP will give you access to Imperial's world class facilities, including state-of-the-art labs, library services and free professional development courses.

Funding and contributions

KTP is a cost-effective way to develop innovation.

Business Partner contributions include:

  • KTP Associate salary - The annual company costs depends on the graduate’s academic level
  • 0.5 days a week of university academic staff directly involved in the KTP.
  • Travel costs for the KTP Associate and academic team.
  • Contribution to equipment/consumables costs.
  • University indirect and administrative costs.
  • Personal and professional development of the KTP Associate.

SME average annual contribution is a third of the total project cost (67% Innovate UK subsidy received).

Larger companies' average annual contribution is half of the total project cost (50% Innovate subsidy received).