Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

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The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is a leading knowledge transfer programme to support business innovation.

For more than 40 years, KTP has successfully and consistently increased competitiveness and productivity for the businesses taking part. KTP projects provide structure and funding support to help businesses undertake open innovation and scale up through collaboration with world-leading academic experts from The University of Manchester.

Projects are focused on delivering a strategic step change in productivity, market share and operating process by embedding new knowledge and capabilities within an organisation.

The expertise, technology and world-leading research that resides within the University of Manchester enables businesses to reap the benefits that a strategic partnership such as a KTP project can provide.

Case Study | EDF

The School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering are currently involved in a KTP with EDF to develop a system which will detect faults in main turbine governor valves to prevent them failing. At present, failures in turbine governor valves result in a significant loss of energy generation during repairs, in addition to the cost of the repairs themselves.

The project, which aims to embed and exploit the capability to enable early stage fault detection by developing condition monitoring technology and standard test procedures is likely to eliminate these faults and facilitate benefits gained from increased on load time. This improvement in energy generation is estimated to save EDF more than £3 million per year, as a result of reduced down time.   

This development research involves both computational fluid dynamics analysis and in-situ vibration measurements of the governor valves, and allows the School of MACE to put theory to the test and engage in the solution of real industrial issues.

The scheme has provided a bridge between industry and academia and facilitates a meaningful interaction which enables knowledge transfer between the two parties. This, in turn, helps to generate joint innovations and new ideas, and offers a unique personal development opportunity to all involved. 

Why partner with the University of Manchester

  • More than 250 KTPs awarded
  • More than £3.5 million in government funding secured for KTP projects between 2011 and 2016
  • Ranked in the top three universities nationally for active KTPs
  • Experienced Knowledge Exchange Managers to support you through the process

How KTP supports businesses

KTP provides a framework to support business innovation through collaboration with a university. Businesses participating in KTP increase profits, knowledge and capability; gain competitive advantage through the launch of new products, processes and services; and become more innovative, efficient and set for growth.

Over the last five years, average reported benefits per project are:

  • £60k increase in pre-tax profit during the lifetime of the project;
  • £600k per annum increase in pre-tax profit for the three years following completion of the project;
  • £650k per annum increase in exports for the three years following completion of the project;
  • creation of two new jobs and 20 staff trained.

How Knowledge Transfer Partnerships work

KTPs are available across a diverse range of public and private industry sectors. Your KTP project could deliver improvements to existing products, support development of novel products and systems, as well as create frameworks to improve efficiencies in processes and upskill staff. This flexible approach enables you to identify the best way to accelerate business growth and enhance your competitive advantage.

Each KTP project recruits a high-calibre graduate, known as an Associate, aided by specialist academic support from The University of Manchester, to deliver a specified work plan. The KTP Associate manages and delivers the project, on-site within your organisation, while being jointly supervised by a senior member of your business and an academic expert from The University of Manchester. This three-way partnership works together to support the strategic development of your business.

Each project can last between 12 months to 3 years, transferring and embedding new knowledge and skills to encourage business growth and innovation. With the help of government funding and university expertise, your business will be well supported to innovate and reach its full potential.


Please visit our Knowledge Exchange pages for further information on the benefits for businesses, academics and graduates or contact us to discuss a potential project.

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