Businesses invited to join the new knowledge revolution at KTP Week

  KTP Attenborough Dental
17 Oct 2014 14:34:14.730

This November the first ever National KTP Week will take place across the UK with over 100 universities and businesses participating in one of the largest collaborations between the business world, and academic institutions in the UK.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme, delivered by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, is a three-way project incorporating private businesses, academic institutions and graduates

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Improving competitiveness
The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme was launched in 1975, and is one of the UK’s longest standing government supported alliances between commerce and academia. It aims to help businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge, technology and skills available within UK universities and colleges.

There will be over 200 separate events staged in UK cities throughout the week by universities and colleges, showcasing the increasing influence of the KTP programme on British business.

Each business which takes part in a KTP project typically receives between £80,000 and £120,000 from Innovate UK to subsidise their project. This enables them to employ a recent graduate to work full-time as a KTP Associate who works on a strategically important project, which enhances the long-term capability of the business. The project is also supported by a senior academic at the University.

Significantly increasing profits
On average, businesses that have taken part in KTP have also reported an increase in profit before tax of £261,000 per annum after project completion. In addition, businesses of all sizes can benefit from the additional resources, access to specialist academic expertise, strengthened links with their University and improved access to future funding.

Iain Gray, CEO of Innovate UK, which funds the KTP programme, said: "National KTP Week is a great opportunity to demonstrate the value of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which opens the door for a business, a knowledge base and a recently qualified graduate, to collaborate on new business opportunities, ideas and concepts.

“Over the last 10 years, the KTP Programme has established some 8500 partnerships touching over 100 UK knowledge bases and over 700 UK businesses in a diverse range of sectors and technologies. As Innovate UK's Chief Executive, I am very proud to be associated with KTP and everything it stands for."

Accessing world-class expertise
A number of regional businesses are benefitting from KTPs. One of Britain’s best-known crisp brands Pipers Crisps, based in Lincolnshire, is working with University of Nottingham Associate Professor Ian Fisk and graduate, Elena Marasca, on a project to study the performance of cooking oil. The project with Pipers Crisps has been examining how oil behaves at different temperatures and how to minimise wastage and ensure flavours are locked-in. As a result of the KTP, the shelf-life of the product has been improved, opening up new, export markets for the company.

In Nottingham, a KTP grant of over £100,000 has been awarded to enable Attenborough Dental Laboratories to work in partnership with the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices at the University and the Centre for Spinal Studies and Surgery at the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The KTP will support the company in developing a new capability in computational design and product safety validation procedures to commercialise the new spinal implants. 

Edward Attenborough, Chief Executive of Attenborough Dental Laboratories Ltd said: “The KTP provides us with access to a world-class spinal engineer and a world-leading spinal surgeon, and presents an excellent opportunity for Attenborough to cross over our expertise to new markets.  The KTP programme seems to be a well-kept secret, but I would encourage other businesses to contact their local universities to see how they might also benefit from a KTP.”

A revolutionary impact
Paul Yeomans, KTP Manager at The University of Nottingham, said: “The KTP scheme is a great way for companies to work with Universities in a way that delivers bottom line benefits. Injecting new knowledge into a business through the KTP programme, really can have a revolutionary impact. That is why we are always keen to hear from any businesses that want to work together with us to exploit and market innovative new ideas.”

Local businesses that would like to find out how they could benefit from KTPs are invited to attend one of two events which are taking place in Nottinghamshire at The Derbyshire Hotel, South Normanton on 3 November and a Business Breakfast at the Belgrave Rooms, Nottingham on 6 November.

For more information about National KTP Week visit or email


 More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager in the Business Engagement team, on +44 (0)115 82 32184

Photo shows, left to right: Nicola Moules, University of Nottingham, Jensen Aw, Medical Device Engineer (KTP Associate) and Edward Attenborough, MD of Attenborough Dental

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and one of the world’s greenest universities. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

KTP is Europe's leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness by enabling companies to work with higher education or research and technology organisations to obtain knowledge, technology or skills which they consider to be of strategic competitive importance.  The UK- wide programme is overseen by Innovate UK (, the UK’s innovation agency, and supported by 16 other public sector funding organization

Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board – we’re the UK’s innovation agency, accelerating economic growth. We know that taking a new idea to market is a challenge. We fund, support and connect innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth. For further information visit our website at

Story credits

For more details about National KTP Week, contact Paul Yeomans, KTP Manager at the University on +44 (0)115 84 68479
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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