KTP is 40 and still going strong

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) has been successfully running for over 40 years and has become one of the largest graduate recruitment programmes across the UK.

Invest Northern Ireland is putting £1.4 million into KTPs each year and they are typically co-funded equally with Innovate UK. Northern Ireland punches above its weight in KTP participation with 8% of current live UK partnerships. Northern Ireland businesses are involved in 64 different projects with awards of more than £5.2m.

“Our involvement with KTP exceeded out expectations. It enabled us to continue to compete at the top level and increase the view of our solution worldwide.” John Reid, Founder & CEO, RepKnight

Since KTPs began in Northern Ireland around 600 have been completed with local companies, 350 with Queen's University Belfast, 210 with Ulster University and 40 with the Further Education colleges and CAFRE.

These have really helped ambitious small, medium and micro companies create new products to compete in a global market.

For graduates KTP offers a wide range of opportunities across a variety of academic disciplines and industry sectors which means any degree subject is considered. Throughout a KTP project, graduates (known as Associates) play a key role in managing and implementing strategic development in the business. KTP Associates own their project and are responsible for the outcome.


Phil Whitby, an associate currently with Arbarr Electronics Ltd said: “The KTP programme will undoubtedly shape my future career, giving me the opportunity to study for a Masters qualification alongside my work. It also gives me an opportunity to make significant positive changes to an organisation and help to transform it. You get the opportunity to take on considerable responsibility at an early career stage and work closely with senior management to shape the future of an organisation and help bring about long-lasting change and business growth.”


Even the Ulster Formula Student Team, a team of young engineers from Ulster University, who design, build and race a F1 based car are getting in on the act.

It is estimated that in the time KTP has been running in Northern Ireland, government investment in KTP has led to a £610 million increase in business profits and investment of £115 million in plant and machinery. This represented some 1,800 R&D projects resulting in 1,200 jobs created and engagement by 1,200 academics resulting in some 3,000 research papers and articles published.

An event to celebrate KTP@40 will be held in the Whitla Hall on Thursday 01 October 18:30. If you are interested in finding out more about the event contact Lynda Mahon, email ldavison@qub.ac.uk.

If you are interested in learning more, contact Karen Hastings, email karen.hastings@investni.com or Tel 028 9069 8587.