Business Expertise

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

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Innovation for business

Do you want to innovate by developing new products or services, or improve existing processes? A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Essex can boost profitability and give your business a competitive advantage.


What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?

A KTP is a three-way collaboration between a business or not-for-profit organisation, an academic team and a qualified graduate. The project can last between 1 to 3 years.

Funded by Innovate UK and Research Councils, KTPs are an established and successful initiative to drive innovation and growth through the transfer of expertise from a university to an external business. They help you explore a new idea or strategy, by adding the outside expertise you need. And with up to £100,000 of the project cost funded, KTPs take the risk out of your innovation strategy. 

From scoping through to funding wins, and recruitment of high-quality talent to project completion, we support our business collaborations every step of the way.

The KTP process

Follow our six simple steps below to help you understand if KTPs are right for your company.

1. Contact us

Tell us about the challenge facing your business or a project idea you have to drive innovation and growth. 

Contact us

2. Introduction and scoping

Meet with our KTP team to discuss our research and the area of Essex expertise suitable for your project. Further meetings with our academic experts will help to shape a research agenda focused on delivering your desired outcomes.

3. Funding

Work with us to develop a funding application. KTPs are funded by Innovate UK and Research Councils.

4. Recruit

Together we'll recruit a high-calibre postgraduate who will be your research associate. They will manage the KTP project and will be based at your business.

5. Start

Start your one to three year project, support by the KTP team. You'll have regular catch-ups between your academic, Innovate UK and the senior contact in your business, ensuring the project remains on track.

6. Support

You will receive support throughout your KTP. Your business will the have the option to explore further university opportunities after your project to help you with commercialisation and embedding. 

The benefits of partnership

KTPs help you gain a competitive edge and ultimately improve profitability through:

  • Access to highly qualified and motivated graduates 
  • Innovative solutions to help your business grow
  • Investment in research and development
  • KTPs are eligible for R&D tax credits
  • Receive expert support from application development to post award project management

The facts

  • We're number 1 in the UK for active Innovate UK funded KTPs
  • We have 40 active KTPs across nine academic departments 
  • Over 100 companies supported through KTPs since 2001
  • Over 700 researchers undertaking world-leading research
  • Our KTP portfolio value is worth over £10 million
Essex KTP success stories
  • Signal AI: The company was formed out of a KTP in 2013 and have gone on to undertake two highly successful projects and held KTP project of the Year in 2018. Signal AI is now valued in excess of £75m.
  • The Finishing Line Ltd: Management KTP which completed in January 2023 and has been awarded "outstanding" by Innovate UK, this saw the company's revenue increase by 33% in-project. 
  • Provide CIC: A twin-Associate project with local healthcare service provider, which was so effective in delivering next-generation digital tooling that the company have spun out a new company, Provide Digital as a direct result of the KTP.

What our partners say...

Will Hitchcock
"Our partnership with the University of Essex and Innovate UK will give us the combined expertise to take our innovative technology to the next level, keeping our business at the forefront of this developing market."
Will Hitchcock CEO, Above


Talk to us about KTPs today


Our ambitions match yours. We’re business-led and hands on. From scoping through to funding wins, from recruitment of talent through to project completion.


Speak to us today to find out how we can help you with an KTP or an alternative funding opportunity today.

Read about some of our industry partnerships

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