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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are low risk, cost-effective way of running a strategic project to create a return on investment for your company. You gain a talented, high-calibre graduate working for you full-time, plus the equivalent of half a day per week of input from one of The Open University's (OU) world-leading academic experts.

The KTP scheme is a part UK government-funded programme to help organisations improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills available within UK universities. 

Our recent KTPs have ranged from enabling Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to embrace digital technologies to motivate young readers to the production of high-performance liquid chromatography columns. For more information on KTPs or to discuss developing a KTP with the OU please email the Enterprise team.

OU Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Recent KTPs at the OU

Albion Environmental Ltd

Albion’s vision is to provide complete solutions to the waste and resource management industry. With the focus on recovering more value from the waste stream, there are more processes where bioaerosols are emitted in large quantities.

Bioaerosol monitoring is the practice of measuring airborne fragments of living or non-living biological materials, which usually consist of microbes. To comply with regulations, bioaerosols need to be measured at sites handling large amounts of organic materials (such as organic waste treatment sites). This ensures that any bioaerosol emissions are within the requirements of the site’s permit and to monitor worker exposure.

This KTP gave Albion the knowledge and technical expertise to undertake and complete bioaerosol assessments in-house, allowing the company to diversify into this new specialist areas of the market; serving Scotland and the North East with its new capability.

Albion is delighted with our first KTP project. We have gained considerable experience in the bioaerosol field by tapping into the OU’s expertise which has enabled us to provide bioaerosol services. KTPs are an excellent way for companies to develop their services and we would highly recommend them.

Alasdair Meldrum
Director of Albion Environmental Ltd

More information on our KTP with Albion Environmental Ltd


The OU’s experts in digital resources for reading and children’s literacy helped national reading charity BookTrust to embrace the digital technologies which can motivate today’s young readers. The KTP enabled BookTrust to acquire the resources and knowledge needed to develop a digital offering, to help more children to read whilst keeping costs down, to open up new revenue generating opportunities and to support the development of a sustainable business model for the future.  

We needed the research skills, pedagogical knowledge and understanding of digital platforms that The Open University could provide.

Peter Jenkins
BookTrust Fundraising Manager

More information on our KTP with BookTrust

The Hallé Concerts Society

The OU enabled the Hallé Concerts Society to address their challenge of increasing audience numbers and generating new income streams through the introduction and adoption of new media and digital technology. As a result of the KTP, the Hallé Concerts Society has significantly improved access to its performances and has changed the way it interacts with its existing audiences and how it engages with new audiences.  

The KTP has enabled us to infuse our whole organisation with an understanding of new media. Working with The Open University has been terrific and their involvement has left a very positive permanent legacy.

John Summers
Chief Executive, Hallé Concerts Society

More information on our KTP with the Hallé Concerts Society


This three year KTP provided Hichrom with a competitive advantage that helped to ensure the long-term future of the company through expanding its’ international reputation as a major high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) column manufacturer and supplier. Through partnering with the OU’s world leading silicone chemistry groups, Hichrom were able to extend its existing competencies and create new ones, leading to the creation of new products and processes and an up-skilled R&D team. 

Our KTP associate quickly assimilated into an established team, was able to see the project from an academic and commercial perspective and brought structure and great communication skills to the project.

Dr Stuart McKay
Managing Director for Hichrom

More information on our KTP with Hichrom

WJ Products Ltd

The Open University’s Department for Life, Health  & Chemical Sciences undertook a three year KTP with WJ Products Ltd, the UK’s leading independent specialist road marking business, to develop new road markings which were easier to apply, lasted longer and were kinder to the environment.

The KTP enabled us to be known as innovators and reinforced our position as the market leader. We learnt what compounds to consider in an ever-changing market, which to consider for R&D purposes, how to determine which materials to assess and develop to improve our existing products and create new ones and understand the impact on processes and application methods.

Garry Duncan
Director, WJ Products

More information on our KTP with WJ Products Ltd

Cornelius Specialities Ltd

This KTP project investigated and established new methods for developing a new generation of organosilicon products with which to plug market gaps and create profitable new products

A successful 33 month KTP between The Open University’s (OU’s) Department of Analytical Chemistry, STEM Faculty and Cornelius Specialities Ltd ended in February 2017, helping Cornelius move from supplying products to order, to becoming a market-led company, developing new products for the contact lens and other new markets.

Through this KTP we were able to secure our supply chain, expand our manufacturing capacity, create three new manufacturing and quality control jobs, up-skill our staff and strengthen our organosilicon capability.

John Bilney

More information on our KTP with Cornelius Specialities Ltd

Executive Interviews Ltd

Executive Interviews wanted to transform its business processes from a local manual analogue DVD recording and reviewing production system to an automated digital system deployable and accessible at any company facility in the world, enabling it to expand to meet a 24x7 worldwide production and sales process.

On completion of KTP Associate Kamran Virk’s 26 month KTP  project in July 2011 he was taken on as a permanent member of staff and, as of 2020, is now in a senior position as Global Head of Development at this dynamic, international internet media company.

Our partnership with The Open University gave us access to a pool of talent we would never even have known about, had we not been part of a KTP with them.  Their global knowledge of developments in our area of operations meant that we could aim for, and deliver, systems we could only have dreamt of otherwise. Without them, and the enthusiastic guidance they gave, I’m not even sure we would have known what to dream of.

Alex Moody
Executive Interviews’ CEO, February 2020