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Sophie O'Callaghan, Enterprise and Innovation Programmes Manager (KTP)

Laura Buchanan, Enterprise and Innovation Programmes Manager (KTP)

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KTP at the University of Exeter

Find out how companies are innovating with the University of Exeter.

Read our case studies here.

KTP for Business

KTP for Business

Why KTP?

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) allow businesses to:

  • Develop innovative solutions to problems and acquire new capabilities.
  • Access new expertise and recruit a highly qualified graduate.
  • De-risk research and development by receiving funding from government.

Why Exeter?

The University of Exeter is one of the leading Knowledge Base partners in the UK for KTPs, with an excellent track record in delivering successful, high impact KTPs with companies across a variety of different sectors. 

  • We are proud to be the leading leading Knowledge Base partner for KTPs in South West England.
  • We have successfully delivered over 100 KTPs, including one finalist for 'Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership' in 2020.
  • 95% of our KTP applications are awarded funding, with 85% of our KTP projects rated good to outstanding.

Here at Exeter, we have a specialist KTP team to support you through every step of the KTP process.

Frequently Asked Questions

The University of Exeter has a dedicated KTP team who will manage the application process and support the project through to its conclusion. We have a high success rate, with 95 per cent of applications being awarded funding.

The KTP team at Exeter can help with:

  • Project Development
  • Managing the application process
  • Associate recruitment
  • Administrative support
  • Relationship management
  • Pastoral support for the KTP Associate.

The application process for KTPs is thorough and we recommend allowing at least 2 months to write an application. An application form involves input from the business, the academics, the KTP office and the KTP adviser. 

Once an application has been submitted, it takes approximately 3 months until a decision from Innovate UK is made. If we are successful in gaining funding we recommend allowing another 3 months to recruit a high-quality graduate.

The timeline for starting a KTP project, from initial conversations to having a KTP Associate start at the company, will typically take 9-12 months.

The cost will depend what type of company you are, as Innovate UK offers different levels of funding for KTP projects.  

  • Third sector - charities, social enterprises, not for profit companies. Cost ~ £22k a year
  • SME ~ £30k a year
  • Large company ~£40k a year

A breakdown of these costs can be provided on request. 

The University manages the recruitment process and will work closely with the business to recruit a KTP associate who is both technically capable and a good fit for the company's culture.

The University will also handle any visa requirements if necessary for international candidates.

KTP Advisers are regional representatives employed by Innovate UK. They have a key role in developing high quality new partnerships and evaluating the merits of a potential project. If a KTP project is successful then the KTP adviser will continue to support the project for its duration.

The organisation will need to cover the full overhead costs of their own participation in a KTP. These include management and supervisory effort, plus any additional materials, capital equipment and office space for use at the business in support of the project.

Businesses may want to enhance the salaries of associates to reflect pay levels in their organisation, business sector and location.

The standard KTP agreement for Intellectual Property (IP) is that the University owns the background IP relating to the KTP project. The business will own any IP created as part of the KTP but the university will retain a licence to this for teaching and publishing. Any publications are a collaborative effort and we work with companies to ensure that no company secrets are revealed when publishing.

The University of Exeter KTP Team is responsible for managing the budget and authorising all financial administration including purchase orders, travel bookings and expense claims. All expenditure is subject to approval by the business and academic supervisors as well as the nominated KTP Adviser.

The standard budget outlines the financial commitment required by the business partner and the Government. In the unlikely circumstance of budget overspends, any additional expenditure becomes 100% the responsibility of the business partner.

The University of Exeter will normally invoice the business partner every quarter in arrears with a final reconciled invoice produced upon project completion. VAT is charged at the Standard Rate of 20%.

Sometimes credits can be gained from activity directly related to the government's definition of 'R&D'. The aim of this 'R&D' is to extend scientific knowledge and understanding overall - not just new capability for the business so certain parts of a KTP project could be eligible. If businesses are considering claiming R&D Tax Credits they should discuss the detail with their local tax office or accountant.

In 2022, Innovate UK increased the funding for third sector companies. This funding increase to 75% means it will now cost a charity or not for profit around £22k a year to undertake a KTP, with projects typically lasting 2 years.

The aim of this is to increase the number of projects resulting in societal and environmental impact. It is worth noting that a financial business case remains part of the application for third sector companies and any proposed project must also be able to demonstrate societal and/or environmental benefits.