COVID-19 Updates: For advice and updates for staff, students, and applicants who may have concerns about the coronavirus outbreak please visit our Situation Updates page.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) schemes link businesses with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project, which will enable businesses to grow and be innovative. The goal is to transfer expert know-how and skills into the company, and provide new challenges and ideas to the University.

KTPs have been helping UK businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity for more than 40 years. Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, a graduate and the University of Northampton. The University employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, brings new knowledge and skills to the business.

The benefits of a Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

  • 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% of associates are offered a permanent job in the company when the project ends

(GOV.UK, 2016)

What will it cost?

Depending on the project and the requirements of the business, a KTP varies between 12 and 36 months. The costs of a KTP are significantly less than recruiting a graduate directly, plus your business benefits from the input of professional and technical expertise of the University. A KTP is part-funded by a Government grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies. Your contribution to the costs of the project not only gives you the services of your KTP Associate, but also the time and expertise of the academics or researchers working with you, and expert guidance from a KTP Adviser.

KTP often delivers increased profitability for businesses as a result of the partnership through increased sales, enhanced quality and operations, and entrance into new markets. Social enterprises see improved results, too.

More information

The exchange of knowledge can benefit your business to be more competitive, profitable and to advance your processes and products. To find out more contact the Research and Strategic Bidding Office on 01604 892553 or email

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

We can also support your business and workforce development with our Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. These programmes have been specifically designed with industry to respond to high level skills gaps, bringing together the very best in higher and vocational education. Our apprenticeships will enable your employees to study for a higher level qualification and gain professional recognition, while applying their learning to your real-world projects in the workplace. If you think degree apprenticeships can help shape the future of your business, please get in touch. Find out more.

  • KTPs support the increasing demand to deliver evidence of the impact of bespoke research, while updating strategic decisions of future research.

    The benefits are extensive, but academics can expect to:

    • produce on average more than three new research projects and two research papers for each project
    • apply knowledge and expertise to key commercial challenges
    • publish high-quality journal and conference papers
    • observe and to have impact on the practical application of their research
    • develop industry-relevant teaching material
    • contribute to the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
    • cultivate strategic relationships with regional and national organisations
  • Taking part in a KTP can help you to develop your business. It can help you get the academic expertise that you don’t have in-house. This expertise can help your business perform better and become more competitive and productive.

    A KTP is part-funded by a grant. You will need to contribute to the cost of the supervisor and the salary of the associate. The amount you will need to contribute depends on the scale and length of the project. It will also depend on the size of your company.


    If you are a small to medium-sized business, you will need to contribute a third of the costs. The average annual contribution to a project for an SME is around £23,000.

    Large companies

    If you are a larger business, you may need to contribute half the cost. The average annual contribution to a project for a larger company is around £30,000.

    Extra benefits of a KTP

    Outcomes vary but expected benefits for businesses are:

    • an average increase in annual profit of more than £1 million after taking part
    • the creation of two genuine new jobs
    • an increase in skills of existing staff
    • access to highly qualified graduates to lead new projects
    • access to university expertise providing specialist knowledge and access to the latest technology and ideas
    • developing innovative solutions to help your business grow
    • increased competitive advantage
    • improved performance/business operations
    • increased profitability
    • government funding reduces the cost and risk to businesses
    • the University manages the administration
  • KTP is one of the UK’s largest graduate recruitment programmes. There are over 300 job opportunities each year. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, strategically brings new knowledge and skills to the business, while being supported by the University. Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, a recent graduate and the University of Northampton.

    As an associate, you will be employed by the University, but work in the company under their terms and conditions, and be jointly supervised by company and University staff on a project ranging from 12 to 36 months. Around 60% of Associates are offered permanent employment by the host company at the end of the project

    The benefits are widespread, but graduates can expect to:

    • fast-track their career prospects
    • be part of one of the country’s largest graduate placement schemes
    • receive a competitive salary
    • receive a personal training and development budget and the potential to gain a professional qualification and/or higher degree
    • have the opportunity to own and drive forward an exciting project


Our brand new £330 million campus.

  • Designed to adapt to 21st century teaching.
  • Full range of integrated learning environments.
  • 24/7 library and learning zone.
  • Low environmental impact.

Now Open

Discover the campus

360° Tour