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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Copyright: iStock

Call status: Open
Application deadline: apply at any time

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) accelerate business innovation by supporting knowledge exchange with academic institutions. KTP operates through an open call which includes the entirety of BBSRC's remit.

As part of a UK-wide programme, these partnerships serve as a mechanism to transfer knowledge and to develop graduate and postgraduate personnel for industrial careers.

Each partnership, lasting between 1 and 3 years, employs 1 or more high-calibre KTP Associates (early-career researchers) to work on an innovative project within industry. Associates are jointly supervised by the participating industrial and academic partners. Government support is delivered through a grant to the academic partner. In addition, a contribution from the participating company fully covers an HEI’s cost of participation.

BBSRC seeks to promote KTP in industrial sectors that are able to benefit from the UK's excellent bioscience research base and encourages the appointment of KTP Associates at post-doctoral level.

We particularly support applications from:

  • Small and medium sized biotechnology companies requiring access to advanced technology
  • Academic partners who have received BBSRC support

How to apply

Contact your local KTP Adviser or office or call: +44 3003 214357.

Benefits for companies:

  • Access to technology of strategic importance
  • Increase sales, reduce costs, increase profitability
  • Utilise skills and expertise in the academic science base

Benefits for academic partners:

  • Experience of working on real industrial problems
  • Ongoing collaborations with industry
  • Stimulating and fruitful relationship with industry, recognised in the RAE assessment of university research
  • Financial support for release of staff involved in the project

Benefits for graduates/postgraduates:

  • High profile position within the company and competitive salary
  • Comprehensive training in management and technical skills
  • Enhanced career prospects

Case study

A three year BBSRC-supported Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Liverpool's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease and supermarket Tesco Plc has resulted in the development of a novel rearing strategy and improvement of the health, welfare and long-term productivity of dairy calves.

Copyright: Sarah Parry, University of Liverpool

In collaboration with partnering researchers at the University of Liverpool, KTP Associate Gemma Curtis compared the performance of Holstein dairy calves reared conventionally with restricted access to milk to those granted free access. The benefits of free access to milk-feeding were immediately clear: calves reared in line with the new strategy gained weight quickly, whilst those reared in the conventional way failed to grow during the first two weeks of life.

"The results of this KTP have the potential to have a huge impact on dairy farming," says Curtis. "The research illustrates that allowing unrestricted access to milk replacer from birth means cows can be put in calf more quickly, so they will be productive earlier and produce more milk than those reared in the conventional way."

"The KTP project has helped us understand an area which has previously seen little research and in-depth focus," says Tesco's Graham Wilkinson, Agriculture manager, Dairy Category. "It has enabled us to attribute the potential changes to financial performance which will be a key driver in delivering change throughout the supply-base."

The KTP was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (75%) and the Technology Strategy Board (25%).

Related calls: collaboration industry innovation knowledge exchange partnerships