What are Knowledge Transfer Partnerships?

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships were formerly known as TCS, a long-established and successful government funded scheme. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are designed to help you access the expertise in the UK’s universities and colleges and bring it into your business by working in partnership with academics.

What kinds of companies are eligible?

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are aimed particularly at SMEs (small to medium size enterprises with less than 250 employees), but companies of all sizes, in all kinds of industries, benefit from Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

What sorts of projects are eligible?

The proposed project should be strategically important to your company and should demonstrate the potential to improve profitability and competitiveness. Each Knowledge Transfer Partnership is tailored to meet individual company needs, and would generally take between 2 or 3 years to complete

How much does a Knowledge Transfer Partnership cost?

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are part financed by a government grant made to the university partner. The size of the grant depends on the size of the company, how many KTP associates are employed, and whether the company has previously collaborated on a TCS programme or Knowledge Transfer Partnership. This grant is complemented by funds from the company.

A Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) participating in the scheme for the first time will contribute 33% of the project costs. The typical cost for an SME, for a first partnership, is between £19,000 - £25,000 per associate per year, depending on the knowledge and skill level of the graduate required. For example, if you require a post graduate degree level, like a PhD, this will cost more.

The total budget (including company contribution) covers:

  • salary of the KTP associate
  • the time and expertise of the academic supervisor
  • equipment and travel costs
  • costs of the associate’s training and development
  • administrative support

Companies need to cover the full costs of their participation in the programme, including their management and supervisory effort, materials, plant and accommodation, plus expenditure beyond the agreed budget and optional enhancements to the associate’s salary.

I am interested in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - what happens next?

Contact ktp@sussex.ac.uk or telephone 01273 87 7800 and we will arrange a visit to your company to explore how Knowledge Transfer Partnerships could benefit your business. We will be able to:

  • discuss the potential project
  • help prepare the application form for the government grant
  • liaise with the KTP Regional Advisor
  • support you through the whole process!
How do I apply for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant?

KTP grants can only be accessed through universities participating in the national KTP scheme. The national agency which administers the scheme is called Momenta, and your local KTP Manager will assist you in the completion of the paperwork and liaise with the Regional KTP Advisor who has to support the application before it is presented at the regular monthly programme advisory group meetings, which approve grant proposals.

A KTP Advisor will visit your company (at no cost to you) to confirm the viability of the project and advise the partnership in the preparation of the grant proposal. The KTP Manager at the University of Sussex will manage the completion and submission of the proposal form.

How long does it take to get a Knowledge Transfer Partnership off the ground?

The KTP Manager, based at the University of Sussex, will liaise with you from the outset to minimise the time between the development of your project and the start of the programme. Time taken for developing a Knowledge Transfer Partnership can vary greatly from 8 to 16 weeks depending on the speed of collating information and when the next partnership approvals group meeting is scheduled.

What is the position on confidentiality and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)?

Confidentiality will be strictly maintained throughout the project. IPR is negotiable and is agreed on a project by project basis; partners enter a written agreement over confidentiality and IPR before the Knowledge Transfer Partnership begins.

How are KTP associates recruited?

The recruitment strategy for each Knowledge Transfer Partnership, the job description and person specification are agreed jointly between university KTP Manager and the company. All KTP associate vacancies are advertised nationally on appropriate graduate vacancy web sites, in appropriate publications, and they are circulated to all UK universities’ career centres, plus on the national KTP website. Recruitment costs are charged to the company.

The company supervisor, the University of Sussex KTP Manager and the academic take part in associate interviews, and appointment decisions are made jointly.

Who employs the KTP associate?

The KTP associate, though officially employed by the university, is based at the company premises throughout the project and works under the agreed terms and conditions of the partnership.

How is the Knowledge Transfer Partnership managed?

A local management committee (LMC), consisting of the KTP consultant, the company supervisor, university staff involved in the project and the KTP associate is set up for each programme. The LMC meets at four-monthly intervals and is chaired by a senior member of the company. The LMC ensures that the programme objectives are met and manages the programme budget.

The ‘project team’ - the associate and their academic and industrial supervisors, meets on a monthly basis. The KTP associate arranges and documents these meetings which review progress against planned objectives and set short-term targets. The academic supervisor is available to provide advice to the associate. Supervisory meetings, giving technical and research support, will be held regularly. The industrial supervisor provides day-to-day guidance and support to the associate within the company.

Contact US on E business@sussex.ac.uk