Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme was established to help businesses in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking a company with a university and a recent graduate, called a KTP Associate. The programme has been running for 45 years and is one of the most successful business support schemes in Europe.

About KTPs

KTPs are co-funded by Innovate UK and the company (SMEs contribute 33% and large organisations contribute 50% of total project costs).  Innovate UK run regular open KTP funding competitions throughout the year.

Participating in a KTP can help your business identify, adopt and incorporate new skills and the latest academic thinking whilst delivering a specific, strategic, innovative and often multi-disciplinary project. A project can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on the business’ needs and objectives of the KTP.

Benefits of taking part in a KTP

  • Businesses achieve an average increase in annual profit of more than £1 million after taking part; they also create around two new jobs
  • Academic partners produce, on average, more than three new research projects and two research papers for each project
  • Around 60 per cent of KTP Associates are offered a permanent job in the company when their KTP ends.

Objectives of a KTP

  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology and the spread of technical and business skills within the participating company
  • Stimulate and enhance business-relevant research and teaching undertaken by the university
  • Provide industry-based training for recent graduates to enhance their specialist and business skills.


The University of Surrey entrance stag in the evening

"As a result of the research and innovations achieved, we have been able to increase the sales share of our premium performance products. This has in no small part, been due to the development of the unique testing facility designed in collaboration with the KTP partnership with the University of Surrey. We have been able to focus our efforts on the creation, promotion and growth of better-performing, longer-lasting and more sustainable materials."

Tim Fielder, Product Development Manager, and the team at Plastipack Ltd
Daffodils in front of the University of Surrey Stag Sculpture

"The KTP project has exceeded original expectations and has been transformative in that it delivered beyond what Advanced Engineering wanted. We have brand new (market leading) products ready for market and have already seen a change in culture, growth in sales and reputation."

Colin Pratt, Technical Director, Advanced Engineering Ltd

What we do

The Business Enterprise Programmes team at the University of Surrey has a wealth of experience in supporting successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships from project conception to closure. We take pride in our 100% application success rate over the past 7 years.  Our team manage a diverse portfolio of KTP projects collaborating with both SMEs and large corporates, thus, reflecting the vast range of expertise and technical know-how available across the University of Surrey.

We will work closely with your organisation, supporting the KTP project from the initial introductions to academics and project scoping, through to the development of the business case, the drafting and submission of the proposal. In addition, we provide continuous post-award support to the partnership up to the project’s completion and provide relationship management to facilitate further, post-KTP collaboration opportunities between your business and the University.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about how a KTP can help you develop your business, access academic expertise, improve your organisation’s performance and become more competitive and productive, please contact the Business Enterprise Programmes team at

Our current and recent KTP projects


To create an updated set of products benefiting from a new hybrid human-machine approach to DLP deployment, aimed at minimising human intervention during initial product deployment by learning from user behaviour to infer document classification.

Departments: Computer Science and Surrey Business School

Basemap Ltd

To develop a holistic logistics management routing software tool which combines scheduling and routing with critical vehicle and environmental performance factors to enable rapid entry and growth in the commercial electric transport market.

Neptec UK Ltd

To develop space-qualified metrology instruments to allow satellites to fly in very tight formation and allow small satellites to be launched relatively inexpensively in order to marry up in space forming a large structure such as a telescope.

Department: Surrey Space Centre

Micross Components Ltd

To develop radio frequency test capabilities for compound semiconductor applications that position Micross Components as the European centre of excellence for advanced high-end next generation radiation-hardened assembly and test of mixed-signal microelectronic devices.

Plastipack Ltd

To develop new high-performance water cover products and enhance existing products using light-matter interactions and to enable bespoke product design for new and existing markets. This will be a major technical breakthrough, a first in the swimming pool cover market and will provide new opportunities for other applications.

Departments: Advanced Technology Institute and Physics

Surrey County Council

To increase patronage of bus services in the county of Surrey, by establishing new ways of identifying customer needs, behaviours and user-experience; making bus services more appealing to potential customers.

Department: Surrey Business School

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

To develop a compact monitor to measure the radiation environment on a new generation of satellites being designed for deployment in geostationary/high-radiation orbits. The monitor will potentially use novel methods which will lead to more accurate data than previously measured at higher radiation levels.

Department: Surrey Space Centre

Hastoe Housing Association

To build an advanced predictive tool to provide improved business decision-making that promotes sustainable living for the social housing sector and provides efficient savings to housing providers.

Departments: Computer Science and Surrey Business School

The Whiteley Clinic

To develop a novel medical device to treat truncal varicose veins and pelvic veins without tumescence influencing clinical practice in vascular surgery worldwide. This will enable the development of future medical devices.

Departments: Vet School, Mechanical Engineering and Surrey Business School

Vintage Bentley | William Medcalf Ltd

To prepare for expansion, formalise a supply chain, and embed new knowledge and skills, enabling development and deployment of effective cutting-edge techniques taking the abilities of vintage cars beyond what was considered possible whilst maintaining their original charm and character.

Departments: Mechanical Engineering and Surrey Business School

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