Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme was established to help UK-based businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking a company with a university and a recent graduate, called a 'KTP Associate'. 

Co-funded by Innovate UK and the company partner (SMEs contribute 33% and large organisations 50% of the total project costs), the programme has been running for 45 years and is one of the most successful business support schemes in Europe. Innovate UK run regular open KTP funding competitions throughout the year.

About KTPs

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, post-KTP profit of more than £1 million; they also create around two new jobs each
    • Academic partners produce an average of 3+ new research projects and 2 research papers for each project
    • Around 60% of KTP Associates are offered a permanent job by the company partner 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.


    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
    The University of Surrey entrance stag in the evening
    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
    Daffodils in front of the University of Surrey Stag Sculpture

    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 nine 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.

    Calls for KTP applications

    Applications for KTPs can be submitted at any time under an 'Open' call.  This will allow partnerships to apply within a timeframe that suits them.  However, the following submission deadlines have been confirmed:

    Closing dates

    • 2 February 2022
    • 6 April 2022
    • 15 June 2022
    • 14 September 2022
    • 16 November 2022
    • 25 January 2023

    Get in touch

    If you would like to discuss or apply for a KTP with the University of Surrey or want 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

      Below are the descriptions of some of our current and recent KTP projects:

      360Science Ltd

      To use novel Machine Learning methods to improve automation/match rates for contact data matching by learning from user feedback, data analysis and experimentation to improve on "out-of-the-box" results, increasing the proportion of automatically identified matches, even on poorly-structured data.

      University Department: Department of Computer Science

      Thermo Fisher Scientific (VG Systems Ltd)

      X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a primary spectroscopic technique for studying material surface chemistry. This project aims to develop a novel methodology for undertaking XPS depth profiling of different materials.

      University Departments: Department of Physics and Department of Mechanical Engineering 

      Vistafolia Ltd

      To establish a UK R&D base and develop a bio-based polymer with measurable ultraviolet stability and fire-retardant qualities while still allowing for injection moulding to create artificial foliage. The new polymer will have recyclable qualities for a better end-of-life use and to reduce plastic waste.

      University Departments: Centre for Environment & Sustainability, Department of Chemistry and Department of Mechanical Engineering

      Basemap Logo

      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.

      University Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering

      WML Logo

      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.

      University Departments: Department of Mechanical Engineering and Surrey Business School

      Surrey County Council Logo

      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.

      University Department: Surrey Business School

      Plastipack logo

      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.

      University Departments: Advanced Technology Institute and Department of Physics

      SSTL logo

      Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)

      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.

      University Department: Surrey Space Centre

      The Whiteley Clinic Logo

      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.

      University Departments: School of Veterinarian Medicine, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Surrey Business School

      WSP Logo

      WSP UK

      To develop an optimization engine for a system which counters problems of flooding, freshwater supply, and ecological stress through storage of excess freshwater in a network of automatically-controlled storage systems within the landscape.

      University Departments: Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering and Department of Computer Science

      AT Medics Logo

      AT Medics

      To plan, develop and implement the Primary Care Quality Dashboard system to measure performance, evaluate innovation and expansion opportunities.

      University Departments: School of Health Sciences and Surrey Business School

      Advanced Engineering Logo

      Advanced Engineering

      To develop slow-release, biocidal products to prevent bio-film formation within heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and to develop new products for heat-transfer surfaces of HVAC systems.

      University Department: Department of Chemistry