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KTP history

The principles of KTP have spanned the past three decades but the main categorisation, aims and objectives of the program have remained the same. Originally in 1975 the predecessor concept was launched as Launched as Teaching Companies Scheme (TCS) – eventually becoming the KTP Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in 2003. Responsibility for the KTPs transferred from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the Technology Strategy Board in 2007.

Over the past thirty years Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and its predecessor, the Teaching Company Scheme, has given British firms new opportunities to break into new technologies, new markets, new processes and production methodologies.

Funded under the Science and Technology Act 1965, the Teaching Company Scheme (TCS) was established in 1975 by the Science and Engineering Research Council, based upon the teaching hospital idea - ‘learning by doing’.

Originally aimed at engineering projects, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships today covers a wide business spectrum to meet the social, technological and economic priorities of the UK. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships has broadened its remit from the physical and social sciences to the include disciplines such as the arts, the media, and the social environment. It now covers most UK business sectors. The distribution of companies has seen the service sector continue to increase in importance, in line with general developments within the UK economy. In 2006 it accounted for 22% of the partnership portfolio.

The growth of TCS/Knowledge Transfer Partnerships from a handful of partnerships in 1976 to over 800 today highlights the value that firms place on participation through their commitment and financial investment. The growth in partnership numbers has been met in part through increased public sector contributions, all aimed towards strengthening the competitiveness, wealth creation, social and economic performance of the UK.  

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