Innovation, R&D

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) exist to facilitate partnerships between businesses and academic institutions.

KTPs are the Government's premier knowledge transfer mechanism, providing the framework and resources to support company-academic collaborations. KTPs are currently supporting 800 companies throughout the UK, 100 of these in Scotland.

KTP operates by building partnerships between companies and academic institutions. The partnership develops a knowledge transfer programme focused on meeting the needs/solving a problem of the industrial partner through technology transfer.

What are the business benefits? 

Companies typically use KTPs to help them:

  • develop new products or improve existing ones.
  • increase efficiency through improved business processes.
  • enter new markets.
  • increase the company's skill base.

Who is it for?

Both large companies and SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) are eligible.

In order to qualify for KTP, a programme should:

  • be innovative, challenging and have a major impact on the company partner
  • identify clear, deliverable outcomes
  • be at least 12 months' work
  • lead to an increase in profits.

How is this service delivered? 

The North of Scotland KTP Centre is a joint venture between the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and the University of the Highlands and Islands. The Centre is based in Aberdeen, but has projects running with partners across Grampian, the Highlands and Islands, and the rest of the UK.

Knowledge is transferred via a recent graduate working within the company, with mentoring from an academic expert.


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