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What is a KTP?

A relationship formed between a company and Cardiff University ('Knowledge Base' partner), which facilitates the transfer of knowledge, technology and skills to which the company partner currently has no access. Each partnership employs one or more recently qualified people (known as an Associate) to work in a company on a project of strategic importance to the business, whilst also being supervised by Cardiff University. Projects vary in length between 18 and 36 months. The Associates are either postgraduate researchers, university graduates, or individuals qualified to at least NVQ (Level 4) or equivalent.

What are the aims of KTP?


  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge through projects undertaken by high calibre, recently qualified people under joint supervision from a company and Cardiff University
  • Provide company-based training for recently qualified people to enhance their business and specialist skills
  • Stimulate and enhance business-relevant training and research undertaken by the academic institutions
  • Increase the interaction between businesses and Cardiff University, and awareness of the contribution academia can make to business development and growth
What are the benefits of KTP?

KTPs can help enhance career prospects by providing the opportunity to manage a challenging project central to a company's strategic development and long-term growth.

According to figures, recently qualified people benefit from:

  • A competitive salary
  • A fully funded professional management qualification
  • The opportunity to make an impact on a business from day-one
  • 75% are offered employment by host company
Benefits to company partners

Business performance outputs vary from case to case, given the rich variety of the projects. According to KTP figures, 52% of companies who completed a final report had an increase in the overall value of the business whilst 62% had an increase in sales.

Latest KTP information shows that the business benefits that can be expected are, on average:

  • An increase in annual profit of over £290k
  • 8 genuine new jobs created
  • Investment in plant and machinery of over £220k
  • Commercial benefits from application of IP~24%
Companies benefit from:
  • Opportunities to develop competitive advantage by linking with Cardiff University
  • The high calibre of graduates accessible through KTPs
  • Transfer of knowledge/expertise
  • Embedding of innovation culture
Benefits to Cardiff University

KTPs provide Cardiff University with the potential to:

  • Income
  • Apply knowledge and expertise to important business problems
  • Develop business-relevant teaching and research materials
  • Identify new research themes and undergraduate and postgraduate projects
  • Publish high quality research papers
  • Gain a relevant and improved understanding of business requirements and operations
  • Potentially impact the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Lead rewarding collaborations with innovative businesses
  • Assist strategic change in businesses
  • Supervise and act as mentors for postgraduates working on company-based projects
How long has KTP been running?

KTP was launched in 1975 as Teaching Companies Scheme (TCS). In 2003 KTPs replaced TCS. The KTP Programme is currently managed by AEA.


Who funds KTP?

KTP is currently funded by fifteen Government organisations led by the Technology Strategy Board. Each Partnership is part-funded by Government with the balance of the costs coming from the company partner.

  • To see the current sponsors click here.
Is it difficult to gain funding?

No, the application process is straightforward and is managed by members of the KTP office at Cardiff University who are practised in the process of administering KTP proposal forms. The KTP office has a 90% + success rate in securing KTP funding.

When can I apply for a KTP?

At almost any time throughout the year. The Partnerships Approvals Group meets approximately every six weeks.

The KTP Office at Cardiff University must be satisfied that your proposals meet the KTP criteria before a submission is made.

How many KTPs are there and where are they?

There are currently more than 1100 Partnerships across the whole of the UK.

Who are the company partners?
  • Stable UK-based companies of all sizes from all industrial sectors
  • Charities and not-for-profit organisations
  • Education institutions (LEAs and schools)
  • Health organisations (hospitals and NHS Trusts)
Funding & Costs
How are partnerships funded?

Each KTP is part funded by a Government grant to Cardiff University. This contributes to the costs that the University incurs through participating in that particular KTP, whilst the balance of the costs directly attributable to a KTP Associate's Project is borne by the company partner.

What does the grant for a KTP and the company's contribution pay for?

The largest part of the costs of a KTP is the employment costs of one or more KTP Associates and the cost of staff from Cardiff University who are directly involved in the Partnership. The remainder includes provision for equipment and travel costs, Cardiff University's indirect and administrative costs and costs associated with the personal and professional development of the KTP Associate(s).

How is the amount of a grant calculated?

The amount of a grant to Cardiff University and, therefore, the amount the company has to pay, is determined almost entirely by the number of KTP Associates to be employed, the length of their project, whether the company is, or is part of, a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise and, in some cases, e.g. whether the company has collaborated on a KTP in recent years.

The financial arrangements for any potential KTP should be discussed with the KTP Office.

How much should a company expect to contribute?

The budget for any individual KTP, and a company's contribution to it, depends on the details of the specific Partnership. However, annual company contributions per KTP Associate employed could be at around the following levels for a first KTP:

  • Contribution by an SME company, that is one with fewer than 250 employees* can expect to contribute a third of the project costs
  • Contribution by a large company or group, i.e. with more than 250 employees* or a company that does not qualify as an SME, would be around half of the project costs
  • Currently, average annual project costs are around £60,000

* Where a company is part of a group, the company size is determined by the number of employees in the group as a whole. There are also balance sheet and turnover criteria.

What other costs are involved for companies?

Companies will need to cover the full overhead costs of their own participation in a KTP. These include management and supervisory effort, additional materials, and capital equipment. Companies should be prepared to enhance the salaries of Associates to reflect pay levels in their organisation, business sector and location. Companies are invoiced by Cardiff University monthly in arrears.

Why should I become an Associate?

KTP can help Associates enhance their career prospects by providing them with opportunity to manage a challenging project central to a company's strategic development and long-term growth.

How often do vacancies appear?

The Partnership Approvals Group meets approximately every six weeks and therefore vacancies for Associates change on an almost daily basis. The types of projects that are available vary enormously. It is strongly recommended that you bookmark the KTP Home Page and view it on a regular basis. There are currently over 1,100 Partnerships and this number is growing.

How do Partnerships advertise vacancies?

Partnerships use a variety of methods to attract the right Associate.

  • Advertise on the KTP website. You can view current vacancies on the KTP website. If you are interested in a particular KTP you should contact the partners directly. You may also wish to view recently approved partnerships also available on the website.
  • Receive details of suitable individuals from the KTP database. You may post your details by submitting a 'profile', which can be viewed by partners that are currently recruiting for a KTP. To do this click on 'register' on the left hand side of the KTP Home Page and complete your details. Select 'interested in becoming a KTP Associate' from the drop down menu. You will receive an email confirmation and you can then log in to the site and post your profile for recruiters
  • Advertise locally, nationally or in journals such as 'Prospects Today', trade journals or using on-line vacancy sites such as
Are there opportunities to undertake further training and development?

A key feature of KTP is that every Associate should spend c.10% of their time on other training and personal development opportunities. The Partnership will consider offering the opportunity to obtain a higher qualification.