Innovate on a business-academic project: apply for funding

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Up to £40 million is available this financial year for businesses to take part in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

The programme helps turn academic thinking into commercial products and services, bringing new knowledge and skills into businesses to boost growth and competitiveness.

Academic thinking to commercial success

KTPs offer funding and support to help UK businesses bring in new insight from academia to tackle a particular challenge they face.

Businesses can begin a new partnership with a university, college or research and technology organisation, working with a Knowledge Transfer Advisor to set this up, or build on an existing relationship. Through this, they will recruit a suitable graduate to work on an innovation project.

Projects can focus on any technology or industry area, and last between 1 and 3 years.

KTP applications must:

  • focus on a specific project
  • set out the nature and goals of the project
  • give details of who will take part
  • establish what the graduate will be expected to deliver

Qioptiq secures largest contract

Qioptiq designs and manufactures photonic products for multiple markets and sectors, including X-ray imaging for medical and modules for defence.

Following a KTP with the Cardiff Business School at Cardiff University – which allowed it to implement more efficient, agile forecasting – Qioptiq secured a contract with the Ministry of Defence worth £82 million. This is the company’s largest ever and will ensure UK armed forces have access to essential night vision equipment.

As a result of the contract, Qioptiq opened a £3.7 million warehouse in North Wales and increased its staff numbers.

Programme information

  • applications for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are open throughout the year
  • the deadline for applications for this round is 3 April 2019. If an application misses a deadline it will automatically be entered into the next competition
  • projects can last between 1 to 3 years
  • businesses and not-for-profit organisations of any size can apply
  • the size of the grant and own contribution can vary. Typically:
    • small and medium-sized businesses can contribute around £35,000 per year, or around one-third of the project costs
    • large businesses contribute about £55,000 per year, or half of the project costs
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