SME Online Forum

SME Online Forum is a monthly session for techUK's SME members. Each month, we'll focus on a different topic important to SME members and hear from thought leaders and professional to support your business. The session also provides a opportunity to discuss and network with peers and colleagues.

Powering Innovation through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) aim to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK knowledge base. They create dynamic connections between businesses and UK Universities or knowledge bases to deliver strategic innovation projects into UK companies.

Partnership projects of 12-36 months are managed by a project lead (the KTP associate) and local management committee comprising company and academic partners who are mentored throughout the project by an Advisor employed by the KTN.  Partnerships are match funded by UKRI through Innovate UK at rates between 50-67%. This makes KTPs an effective way of generating a future leaders talent pipeline and embedding new capabilities for your business. Read more about the benefits of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships for business here!

SME Case Study - SVGC Group

From a Small Business perspective, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) offer an opportunity to help the company bring forward innovation to the marketplace, to commercial benefit; and for the University to bring forward their knowledge, technology and skills using the company as a platform. SVGC are just starting their second KTP project having both enjoyed, and gained benefit from the first which was with Glasgow University. Their new KTP is with Loughborough University and they are immensely excited to get started! They have learned a lot from the previous experience which has delivered well and expect to gain even more mutual benefit from this new and evolved KTP. 
They have found the benefits to go way beyond purely commercial … there are new relationships formed with the University which spin off new opportunities in ways not anticipated, and the benefit of being able to sell solutions which are demonstrably academically rigorous provides a significant market differentiator – particularly when selling into the public sector. 


In this session you will: 

  • Hear about the benefits of KTPs for technology development and commercialisation
  • Gain information about accessible funding streams in excess of £100,000 that can help your business build capability and scale up
  • Hear KTP case studies on projects that have already created lasting commercial value for a range of UK companies 
  • Have an opportunity to pose your queries to our expert in knowledge transfer partnerships from Loughborough University. 
  • Hear about SVGC’s experience of the KTP process and the benefits which we have seen. 
  • Gain insight into how to make these processes successful for your business, including some of our own lessons learnt. 
  • Have an opportunity to pose your queries to a real small business who has experienced KTP. 


Dr Zoe Marshall-Jones, Partnership Development, Loughborough University

Zoe has over 15 years’ experience in design, development and delivery of commercial R&D programmes to satisfy global regulatory standards and provide claim support for technical marketing needs. Working across a range of schools and disciplines in partnership development at Loughborough University, Zoe works in the Research and Innovation team to develop commercially impactful knowledge transfer partnerships, that generate business growth and capitalise on the wealth of academic expertise at the University.

Dr Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive Officer, SVGC Group

Dr Andrew Dixon has over 25 years’ experience in the Defence & Security industry, in both the public and private sector as a collaboration leader, chief engineer, programme director, chief consultant, change agent and now as a Managing Director of a small Defence consultancy business.  Much of that time has been spent working in bringing public and private sector organisations together and working with Universities in many different ways. A recognised collaboration expert, Andrew chairs the Small Business Forum of the Institute of Collaborative Working (ICW) and is Vice-Chair of the TechUK Defence & Security SME Forum.