workforce development

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

Helping businesses innovate for growth

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are projects that help businesses innovate for growth, connecting them with world-class ‘Knowledge Bases’ to develop new products, processes or services.

There are currently around 800 businesses, over 100 Knowledge Bases, and over 800 graduates involved in KTPs in unique partnerships that aim to create positive impact and drive innovation for the UK. Knowledge Bases are Catapult Centres, research and technology organisations, universities and colleges. KTPs are funded by UKRI through Innovate UK and have been established by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), which exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities so they can accelerate their ambitious ideas into real-world solutions.

As a knowledge base, the National Composites Centre works primarily with businesses to develop their projects and to recruit a suitable graduate, known as a KTP Associate, who will be embedded at the partner company for the majority of their time throughout 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.

Omni robotics

Benefits for your business

UK-based businesses of any size, including not-for-profit organisations such as social enterprises and charities, are eligible to be involved in a KTP.

Taking part in a KTP can help your business solve a challenge by giving you access to expertise and resources that you don’t have in-house. They can improve your business processes and performance, helping you to become more competitive and productive.

The National Composites Centre is an independent, open-access technology centre delivering world-class research and development of composite materials. We can offer businesses access to the latest technology and provide technical expertise from our pool of 450 composites engineers. Every KTP also has a dedicated Knowledge Transfer Advisor from 

Funding for KTPs

KTPs are part-funded by Innovate UK grants, subsidising the delivery of a package of support with a total value of around £80,000 to £100,000 per year. This includes the costs of the associate’s salary, mentoring, training and development.

KTP will pay:

  • 75% of project costs for not-for-profit businesses of any size (so business pays ~£20k to £25k per year)
  • 67% of project costs for micro, small and medium-sized businesses (so business pays £27k-£33k per year)
  • 50% of project costs for large businesses (so business pays ~ £40k to £50k per year)

Businesses will need to fund the remaining cost of the project but can normally use research and development (R&D) tax relief to recoup some of these costs. In order to access R&D tax relief, businesses will need to speak with their accountant or seek other professional advice.

The size of your business is determined by several factors, which will be discussed in detail if you make an application, including number of employees, turnover, location, and if the business is part of group of businesses.

Benefits for graduates

KTP is one of the UK’s largest graduate recruitment programmes, with over 300 job opportunities each year for graduates (known as ‘associates’) to lead KTP projects. One of the major benefits for graduates is that successful completion of a KTP project often leads to a permanent technical or management role with the partner business.

Every associate is given a dedicated training and development budget that supports their development training that is specifically required for the project, as well as training that helps the all-round development of the associate.

We will advertise all of our KTP roles on this website page and successful applicants will have an employment contract with the National Composites Centre, rather than the business directly, even though they will primarily be embedded within the business for between one and three years, depending on the project. This means that they have access to all of our employment benefits.

Find out more

More information on KTPs is available for businesses and graduates on the Innovate UK KTN KTP website.

You can also contact the NCC to find out more about our KTP opportunities.


Latest news on KTP

International Symposium

NCC becomes KTP ‘Knowledge Base’ to help businesses innovate for growth

Read more about NCC becomes KTP ‘Knowledge Base’ to help businesses innovate for growth

NCC becomes KTP ‘Knowledge Base’ to help businesses innovate for growth

The NCC has successfully become a ‘Knowledge Base’ as part of the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme, which delivers business-led innovation projects to drive growth for the UK.

Carbon 3sixty

NCC first KTP project Carbon ThreeSixty

Read more about NCC first KTP project Carbon ThreeSixty

NCC first KTP project Carbon ThreeSixty

The NCC has launched its first KTP project with composites design and manufacturing specialists, Carbon ThreeSixty, that aims to embed specialist composites technology for the development of highly optimised, lightweight and higher performing composite components and structures.

KTP with Carbon ThreeSixty Ltd kicks-off a key milestone by welcoming first KTP Associate

Read more about KTP with Carbon ThreeSixty Ltd kicks-off a key milestone by welcoming first KTP Associate

KTP with Carbon ThreeSixty Ltd kicks-off a key milestone by welcoming first KTP Associate

Our KTP project with Carbon ThreeSixty Ltd kicks-off a key milestone by welcoming Jacob Hatherell, our first KTP Associate. As part of the Innovate UK KTN programme, Jacob will be primarily based within Carbon ThreeSixty, supported by experienced NCC engineers and with access to its world-leading facilities and expertise. The two-year project’s ultimate aim is to enable the UK SME to innovate and develop optimised products using tailored fibre placement (TFP), supporting the business’ growth ambitions. This collaborative approach provided by the KTP programme is essential to knowledge transfer between the two organisations.

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