Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
Innovation vouchers and KTP
Both the Innovation Voucher and the Follow-on Voucher are funded by the SFC. Broadly speaking, often a collaborative project can start with funding from an IV, possibly be continued with a Follow-on Voucher, with a long-term partnership being funded through the KTP scheme (funded through the TSB). Clearly this is not the only route, but one of the more common.
What is a KTP?
A KTP is a three-way project between an academic, a business and a recently qualified person (known as the Associate). Each Classic KTP project lasts between 6 months and 36 months or for a Short KTP it's between 26/51 weeks, depending upon the time required to deliver real outcomes. A KTP enables academics to participate in rewarding and ongoing collaborations with innovative businesses that require up-to-date research-based expertise to succeed.
How does it work for academics?
KTP is delivered on a full economic cost basis, which means that the 10% of the academic's time is 100% funded, including overheads. Typically, academics should expect to commit half a day of their week to a KTP project, mainly at the premises of the business partner. This is important to build and maintain an understanding of the project environment and relationships with the people involved.
In the early stages of developing a KTP application, a dedicated, highly experienced KTP Adviser will be allocated to work in partnership with you. The role of a KTP Adviser is to facilitate the development of new Partnerships, guiding the partners through the approval process. Once a KTP project is approved, the Advisers also monitor and support progress throughout the life of the Partnership.
How much can a grant be?
So far University of the Highlands and Islands researchers have benefited from hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of funding via this route - Individual partnerships have ranged from £50,000 to £122,000.
Additional key points for the scheme
- The SME grant rate for subsequent projects (1-3) will be at the full 67% rate. 4th project will be at 50% and 5th 0%.
- No change for the large company grant rates with the grant falling from 50% to 30% after the first project.
- Associate employment costs, if PhD experience is required this would increase from the current£27k/annum to a maximum of £35k/annum.
- Importantly, SMEs we will be able to request additional travel & subsistence and consumables funding. This is a return to the previous KTP condition and is very welcome.
- Recent Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) study commented that "KTP builds a sustainable capacity....Should be targeted towards companies which need a step change in capability and are open to innovation"
- KTP can clearly support companies that lack technical knowledge to exploit external resources
- Drawing on the CHIE Report, KTP will have a clearly position within the TSB ‘toolkit’
- Application process was seen as important to build trust between the academic and business partners
- No particular appetite for KTP centres in England, though the TSB would be very happy to support any initiatives to assist in their development should the desire arise
- TSB wants KTP growth probably at a rate that is quicker than the universities (!)