Working with business:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Call status: Open
Application deadline: apply at any time

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

Research, undertaken as part of a BBSRC-supported Knowledge Transfer Partnership, has helped develop a device, which could soon aid doctors in the rapid diagnosis of heart attacks at a patient’s bedside.

KTP Associate Dr Ana Gallardo took on the challenge of developing a sensor for Fatty Acid Binding Protein (FABP) – a cardiac marker that can be used for rule-in rule-out analysis of heart attacks and also to determine the success of ‘reperfusion’ therapy.

The attraction of this scheme was in allowing her to follow a sensor system from concept through to commercial application in an area of clear clinical need.

In collaboration with partnering researchers at Newcastle University and Cambridge Life Sciences Ltd, Gallardo’s work involved developing two intrinsic parts of the test device: the lateral flow strip where the biochemical recognition and chemical reaction takes place; and the transducing electrode, which translates the chemical signal into an electrical measurable one.

The result was an impressive sensor device that could deliver near-patient analysis of blood samples for FABP from a 20 microlitre sample within five minutes.

“We now have the necessary clinical information to vindicate the utility of fatty acid binding protein measurements in an emergency situation and, importantly, we have the technology to deliver point of care diagnostics for early diagnosis or exclusion of myocardial infarction,” says academic partner Professor Calum McNeil from Newcastle University.

“Overall, the programme has strengthened our competitive position regarding the licensing and collaborative research of our sensor technology from just being able to offer simple analyte detection methods using the company’s existing technology to now quick, quantitative and disposable tests using the immunosensor technology,” says Keith Rawson from Cambridge Life Sciences Ltd.

For the University, the benefits of taking part in the KTP were different but equally evident. “The programme has exposed senior staff, research staff and students to the commercial realities of technology transfer to industry,” says McNeil. “The difference between a laboratory-scale working system and a manufacturable product could only be appreciated through this type of programme.”