The Welsh Government is cutting the costs of short term Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) to make them more accessible and cost effective for SMEs.
KTP, a UK-wide programme delivered by the Technology Strategy Board and supported by the Welsh Government, links companies with further and higher education institutions.
Recently qualified graduates, who are supported by academic supervisors, are placed with companies to work on specific business projects.
The aim is to help businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through better use of knowledge, technology and skills
Companies currently contribute 40% of the cost of short term KTPs, with an average contribution being around £20,000 and the Welsh Government contributing the remaining 60%.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart has announced the Welsh Government will now contribute 75% of the costs, with businesses only contributing 25%, until 31 March 2015.
The aim is to encourage more companies to take up short term KTPs and benefit from the programme,
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:” The Knowledge Transfer Partnership is bringing direct benefits to businesses while also giving graduates valuable experience of working with industry.
“Short KTPs completed in Wales between 2007-2011 resulted in a net additional turnover of just under £40million and the creation of 100 jobs. They achieved a return of £37.60 additional turnover per £1 of Welsh Government investment.
”As these were undertaken in a period of significant economic downturn it illustrates the potential of such schemes to combat some of the negative impacts experienced during the recession. By cutting the contribution rate we hope to see more businesses benefiting from the short term KTPs.”
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are a core component of Wales’ R&D and innovation offer to businesses. They are designed to transfer knowledge from academia to business, enabling companies to access skills and expertise to address strategic business challenges.
The partnership can vary in length according to the needs of the business, from one to three years for a classic KTP, while short term KTPs are typically between six and twelve months duration.
Statistically, small companies employing between 10 – 49 employees are the largest group of participants in the KTP programmes in Wales.