The Technology Strategy Board, the organisation that has been established to drive the development and exploitation of technology and innovation in the UK, has made a commitment to reduce the cost of its Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme to Small and Medium sized companies (SME).

The move has the full support of all the other UK government organisations that are funding KTPs and will mean that organisations will receive a cash payment that reduces their contribution from 33 percent to 25 percent for one year. The aim of this incentive is to encourage SMEs and third sector organisations to take part in the KTP programme despite the uncertain financial climate.

The KTP programme helps to ensure that specialist knowledge is transferred between the research and business worlds and supports business by giving organisations access to the knowledge and skills base in the UK’s universities, colleges and research bodies. Recent graduates undertake a strategic project working in the organisation with staff whilst developing themselves for a career in the commercial world as managers and potential leaders of the future.

Pete Munday, the national programme manager for KTPs at the Technology Strategy Board, said, “Organisations that participate in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships have been shown to derive great benefit from their participation. The current economic conditions are making participation in KTPs more difficult for SMEs. Government and the Technology Strategy Board are therefore prepared to cover a bit more of the risk so that these companies or organisations are better placed to exploit the upturn when it arrives.”