Knowledge Transfer Initiatives

“Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) aim to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base"

KTPs are a well-established and well-regarded national innovation support programme, managed by Innovate UK funded by Innovate and co-funders including Welsh Government in Wales, that enables businesses to transfer and embed expertise from academia into their business to develop capability, new products and processes, to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance.  

Since the programme started KTPs have transformed over 12,000 businesses big and small, across every sector and region of the UK. 

The essential structure of a KTP is that an Associate (high calibre, minimum graduate educated individual) is employed to work at the business developing and embedding new capabilities, mentored and supported by an academic team and with access to the academic institution facilities. The average age of Associates is 31, many have PhDs and are typically in their first or second job before coming to KTP.  

KTPs are possible across all areas and disciplines with a focus on projects that embed new technologies & processes and those that develop management & staff capability. From manufacturing to design, sustainability to marketing; any business sector, including the third sector and public sector organisations such as the NHS, can take part. Businesses of all sizes can take part too, from micro-businesses to large enterprises. 

KTP business benefits: 

  • De-risks and accelerates technology adoption
  • Increases PBT                                           
  • Recruitment, development & retention of future business leaders
  • Often cheaper than direct hire
  • Embeds new processes & trains staff
  • Informs investment in plant/ machinery and R&D.            
  • Develops further academic collaboration & partnering     
  • Improves business performance/innovation culture

KTP associate benefits: 

  • Fast-track career development
  • Competitive salary package
  • Training and development (10% of time and a £2k pa budget)
  • Employment within the chosen academic discipline
  • Opportunity to register for Higher Degree during the project
  • 85% of Associates are offered employment by the host business 

Partnerships typically run for around 2 yrs and in around 75% of cases, the Associates are retained by the company post KTP and are part grant funded. 

Management KTP 

Looking for increased productivity?  Strategies to build resilience? Deeper management expertise or improved business processes? 

Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (mKTPs) are designed to help deliver this kind of transformation for your business. By linking with Wrexham University, mKTPs enable you to adopt and adapt expertise to bring about people-focused, strategic change to help your business succeed. 

Spanning all key business functions - from marketing to IT, creativity to strategic management; HR to employment relations; finance to logistics, the mKTP programme creates a highly skilled collaborative partnership that borrows from the success of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme which has been helping businesses innovate for growth for 45 years.

mKTPs seek to support strategic management projects across core activities including: 

  • Monitoring and target setting
  • Communication and motivation
  • Organisation, resource planning and strategic thinking
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • Commercial awareness and risk management
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Options evaluations, horizon scanning and foresighting three years 

Who could benefit from an mKTP? 

  • Growth-oriented SMEs, eager to build and execute their ambitious management strategy by introducing better management practices.
  • SMEs seeking significant productivity gains, recognising that good management and leadership can help deliver this.
  • Small and medium businesses looking to up-skill their people and make step-change improvements in productivity by deploying industry-leading practices and innovation processes. 

Why choose Wrexham University?

Wrexham University has a long-standing and highly regarded reputation for delivering quality KTP projects.  Since making the transition to University status in 2008, we have supported more than 40 companies across the region to achieve their goals through a KTP project.

Our University has expertise in a wide range of areas and to date has collaborated in projects relating to IT Development, Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, Marketing, Creative Industries and a host of other disciplines. 

We have also created a comprehensive package of support in the form of our newly launched Ladder of Innovation; a flexible, “stepped” approach to academic collaboration, providing a range of solutions depending on the business and allowing businesses to progress more gradually towards a full KTP.

The ladder offers businesses the following initiatives, all of which can be explored as part of a longer-term collaboration, or businesses can take advantage of just one or two steps, depending on their business need;

Ladder of Innovation

KT Vouchers 

The first rung on our Ladder of Innovation builds on a highly successful knowledge transfer project we ran from 2018 -2020, giving local businesses access to our academic experts for between a day and a week to work on very specific short-term projects, via Knowledge Transfer vouchers. Vouchers of up to £2,500 are available for businesses to work with Wrexham University academic staff and will cover up to a week of an academic’s time, or access to University facilities for testing, analysis or prototyping.

Mini KTP

A Mini KTP allows businesses to take on a recent graduate to undertake a specific project for between 3- 6 months, with the additional benefit of accessing an academic member of staff to work with and mentoring the graduate throughout the project for half a day per week.  While the business will employ the graduate throughout the project period, the mini KTP initiative provides funding towards the academic’s time spent on the project and up to £1000 towards project consumables.  

Mini KTPs are an excellent way to gain new knowledge into a business through a structured and managed framework with academic support and guidance to ensure project success. 


SMART Partnerships are funded by Welsh Government and are aimed at increasing the capacity and capabilities of Welsh businesses, whilst offering financial support to innovative collaboration projects.  A SMART Partnership like a KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an associate (recent graduate) and a university.  However SMART partnerships are only available to businesses based in Wales. 

SMART partnerships are between 6 – 12 months in duration and are part-funded up to 50% with the business paying a 50% contribution.

Want to find out more about the initiatives above? 

Contact our Enterprise team 

For more info on how to apply specifically for a KTP, take a look at the website for more information or visit the Welsh Government page.

“The KTP scheme provided an excellent platform for developing our branding strategy. The collaborative approach was highly effective in blending the creativity offered by the Associate and Knowledge Base with our own industry expertise. Our improved online profile and increased brand awareness will support our growth strategies within new and existing market sectors.”

Gareth P. Jones Company Supervisor, Setter & Associates Ltd