The Innovate UK Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) programme is designed to facilitate collaboration between UK Higher Education (HE) institutions with UK registered businesses, charitable companies, or charities (the Business Partner).

This initiative aims to deliver a rapid and targeted intervention to accelerate the development of an innovation project or concept, which has the potential for significant impact to the business partner. Projects funded through this programme will have a duration of two to four months.

Key features

Partnership Building
Each Innovate UK AKT project will either establish a new partnership or strengthen an existing collaboration between the Knowledge Base (KB) and the Business Partner (BP) through knowledge exchange activities.

A total of up to £4.5 million is available for this initiative. The maximum grant awarded for each project is £35,000.

Collaborative Effort
While the application must be submitted by the Knowledge Base partner, it is expected to be developed in partnership with the Business Partner. The Knowledge Base will be the sole recipient of the grant.

Business Contribution
The Business Partner is required to contribute a minimum of 10% of the total project costs in cash. There is no upper limit on the cash contribution from the business. For example, if the grant value is £35k, the business partner would contribute a minimum £3.5k.

Knowledge Base (KB)
The KB (upto two academics, from same or different disciplines) will supervise the associate in partnership with the business partner in the delivery of the project.

Project Team Support
The programme supports the role of an Associate with project costs of up to 1 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) for the project's duration. This role can be fulfilled by a maximum of two individuals and can be conducted virtually. Applicants should demonstrate effective teamwork and communication strategies.

Academic supervision is typically expected at a rate of 0.5 days per week, with a minimum of 0.25 days per week. Any additional supervision time must be justified in the application and represent the best approach to project delivery. Normally, the grant supports one academic.

Associates must be employed by the Knowledge Base and be suitably skilled to deliver the project. All of the partners must be content with the associate(s) delivering the project. Ideally the Associate will be an existing employee of the University in a role such as a PhD Student, Research Assistant, or Early Career Lecturer. If external recruitment is required, it should be accomplished within a maximum of six weeks upon receiving the grant offer letter.


This round opened 6 November 2023 will close Wednesday 13 December at 11.00 a.m.

The Business Partnership and Knowledge Exchange (BPKE) team in Research and Innovation Services (RIS) is available to provide support, application information and review and cost applications. If you are interested in applying for the programme, please contact the BPKE team by emailing

Further Information