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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is Europe’s leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge-base.

Leading Knowledge Transfer Support From Birmingham City University

With industry roots stretching back to 1843, Birmingham City University is firmly committed to supporting businesses, the professions and community in meeting today’s challenges. Over the last decade, our expertise has benefited well over 5,000 West Midlands SME’s. We have also actively helped raise skill-levels in leading UK companies and public bodies, from aerospace giants to the NHS West Midlands. In addition, we operate several dedicated academies for global organisations including US-based IT giants, Cisco and Microsoft, and the world’s largest business software company, SAP, among others.

Each Partnership employs one or more high calibre Associates (recently qualified people) for a project lasting six months to three years, transferring the knowledge the company is seeking into the business. Each Associate works in the company on a project which is core to the strategic development of the business. Through contact with businesses, the knowledge base partner is also provided with a relevant and improved understanding of the challenges companies encounter, and their business requirements and operations.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme run and managed on behalf of 12 government funding organisations by the Technology Strategy Board. Each Partnership is part funded by Government with the balance of the costs coming from the company partner. Associates are jointly supervised by a senior member of the business and an academic or technical specialist from the partnering knowledge base organisation.

The Flexibility of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is intentionally flexible in delivery, allowing:

  • projects to vary in length between 6 and 36 months
  • knowledge base partners to include Further Education Institutions (teaching at least the equivalent of NVQ Level 4) as well as Higher Education Institutions, Research and Technology Organisations and Public Sector Research Institutes
  • Associates to be either post-graduate researchers, university graduates, or individuals recently qualified to at least NVQ (Level 4) or equivalent

Benefits for the Associate

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is one of the UK’s largest graduate recruitment schemes and can help Associates enhance their career prospects by providing them with the opportunity to manage a challenging project central to a company’s strategic development and long-term growth, as well as offering top class training and development in business management and leadership skills.

  • Over 50% of Associates register for a higher degree during their project
  • Over 70% of Associates are offered employment by their host company on completion of their project

Benefits for the Knowledge Base

Through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, academics are able to:

  • develop business-relevant teaching materials
  • identify new research themes and undergraduate and post-graduate projects
  • publish high quality research papers
  • contribute to the Research Excellence Framework Exercise (REF) assessment and rating of their department

Benefits for the Company Partner

Business performance outputs vary considerably from case to case, given the rich variety of projects. Latest information shows that, on average, the business benefits that can be expected from a single KTP project are:

  • an increase of over £240,000 in annual profits before tax
  • the creation of two genuine new jobs
  • an increase in the skills of existing staff

Put another way, for every £1 million of Government investment in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, the benefits achieved by UK businesses amount to:

  • £3.0 million increase in annual profits before tax
  • the creation of around 23 genuine new jobs
  • 190 company staff trained

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Mission

To strengthen the competitiveness, wealth creation and economic performance of the UK by the enhancement of knowledge and skills and the stimulation of innovation through collaborative projects between business and the knowledge base.

The objectives of the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are to:

  • facilitate the transfer of knowledge and the spread of technical and business skills, through innovation projects undertaken by high calibre, recently qualified people under the joint supervision of personnel from business and the knowledge base.
  • provide company-based training for recently qualified people in order to enhance their business and specialist skills.
  • stimulate and enhance business-relevant training and research undertaken by the knowledge base.
  • increase the extent of interactions of businesses with the knowledge base and their awareness about the contribution that the knowledge base can make to business development and growth.


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