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Yorkshire businesses urged to tap into university expertise through new funding

Posted on 21 November 2017

Businesses across Yorkshire are being urged not to miss out on an extra £30m of funding being made available as part of Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme.

The KTP programme allows businesses of all sizes to partner with world-leading academics and researchers to learn how new skills and thinking can increase their competitiveness and productivity.

The call to action comes ahead of the national Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Conference 2017 organised and led by the University of York, in partnership with the Yorkshire Universities, on 23 and 24 November. The event at the Principal York Hotel provides an opportunity to share and gain best practice, and to hear from experts in the innovation landscape.

Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, announced the extra £30m funding to expand KTPs earlier this month. The new money comes from the National Productivity Investment Fund, which is part of the Government’s plan to nurture a deep pool of commercially-minded research talent.

The funding will enable many more graduates and post-doctoral researchers to find entrepreneurial roles in companies across the UK.

Professor Jon Timmis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange at the University of York, said: “KTPs are run with companies large and small, but are particularly valuable for SMEs with limited internal research capabilities. They can provide invaluable help to organisations, allowing them to improve their competitiveness, productivity, performance and profitability.

“KTP enables Higher Education Institutions to apply their wealth of knowledge and expertise to important business problems, facilitate collaborations that lead to measurable research impact, and provide an employment opportunity for high-calibre graduates.”

Speakers at the fully-booked conference include Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive of Innovate UK; Dr Steve Welch, Director of Innovation at the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN); and Dr Ceri Williams, Director of Innovation and Enterprise, University of Leeds.

Dr McKernan said: “I am really excited to attend this year’s KTP conference in York. We have 40 years of data which shows just how fantastic KTPs are and the real difference they can make to businesses by increasing knowledge exchange from our universities.

“The Government sees this and have provided £30 million additional funding, for this year, to massively increase the size of the scheme and provide us with many more success stories in the future.”

To find out more about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships visit




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