Working with business:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

KTP call status: Open
Application deadline: apply at any time

Agri-food call status: Open
Application deadline: 11 February 2015

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 and targeted competitions to support specific sectors. The current targeted competition supports the agri-food sector.

Agri-food call

£2.3M is available from multiple funders from 19 June 2014 to 11 February 2015 for a targeted KTP competition to improve the competitiveness, resilience and responsiveness of the agri-food supply chain (see the Competition Brief in external links). BBSRC is supporting the competition and will consider co-funding KTPs on an individual basis.

The competition will enable businesses to access the UK knowledge base for innovative solutions to the global challenges facing the agri-food sector. The scope is broad and spans the entire supply-chain from primary production, including aquaculture, through to retail. Applicants are encouraged to propose KTPs that deliver multiple benefits. This could include aligned proposals from several companies to deliver higher impact.

Detailed information about the additional funding available for KTPs relating to the agri-food industry can be found in the Competition Brief and on the TSB Competition Page (see external links). See also the case study below.

KTP call

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:

How to apply

For further details and to apply please visit the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships website.

Benefits for companies:

Benefits for academic partners:

Benefits for graduates/postgraduates:

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%).