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Knowledge Transfer

'Within a modern, knowledge driven economy, knowledge transfer is about transferring good ideas, research results and skills between universities, other research organisations, business and the wider community to enable innovative new products and services to be developed.' Office of Science & Technology

Business engagement 

For businesses: KTC business engagement is user-focused from the outside in; our staff attend external events, workshops, exhibitions and meetings looking to engage potential R&D sponsors and interest them in University research and facilities.

Businesses and business-linking intermediaries interested in working with our researchers should contact

For researchers: KTC services are available all year round, with delivery is tailored to user requests. Where interest is expressed by researchers this is supported and followed through by KTC staff in order to develop a relationship with the potential R&D sponsor.

Specific opportunities can be found on our new SharePoint site (for University staff only), which is updated weekly. Please send an access request to view the range of business engagement opportunities available.

For more information please contact

Intellectual property (IP) management

KTC staff can provide advice on a range of IP matters including copyright, design rights, patents and trademarks

The KTC's management of the University's technology-based IP typically involves:

  • 100 patent families
  • 400 worldwide patent applications
  • 50% of the patent portfolio licensed
  • 60 licensee companies 

Any new inventions or potentially unique commercial opportunities that arise from University research should be reported by principal investigators to the KTC through an invention disclosure form. You can download this from the panel on the right of this page.

For more information on IP management at the University of St Andrews please contact our Associate Director, Alistair Main


The KTC assists university staff in accessing and bidding for a range of development and translation funding, runs subsequent development projects and finds other relevant commercialisation support.

At the point where a specific R&D project successfully leads to a licensing opportunity or the formation of a spinout company to commercialise the opportunity, the KTC will promote the opportunity and lead licensing and spinout negotiations on behalf of the University.

For more information on commercialisation see the KTC overview document on this page or contact

Research impact

The University aims for all its research activities to have a positive impact on society, business and the economy; however the journey from undertaking fundamental research to achieving impact outside the academic environment is neither linear nor predictable.

To make that journey easier there is competitively awarded funding available from the University’s Impact Acceleration Accounts (from the STFC and EPSRC)  to support appropriate researchers in developing, translating, promoting and transferring their fundamental research. Please note that funds cannot be used to sponsor further basic research or teaching.

The availability of funds and schemes varies, please look at the KTC and research policy office page for further details of current schemes.

Enterprise & entrepreneurship

Formal and responsive support: the KTC provides support through formal lectures and workshops in taught modules (Medicine & Biology) and informally to staff and postgraduate researchers at the point of need.

Student enterprise: we work closely with the University’s student enterprise adviser in the careers centre who runs a specific range of meetings, workshops, training sessions and provides support aimed at students. Undergraduate students should approach the careers centre in the first instance:

Competitions: In semester 2 the careers service and KTC run the Ideas Explosion competition for students and staff, which culminates in the Provost’s Pit business pitching contest. Finalists are awarded small cash prizes and development funding and are encouraged and further supported to enter a range of other enterprise and entrepreneurship challenges.

The KTC supports Scotland’s biggest business plan competition, Converge Challenge, through which 30 selected finalists are provided specialist business training and mentoring to support company formation and raising capital.

External support: The KTC and wider University support is enhanced through links to the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), Enterprise Campus, Converge Challenge, Informatics Ventures and Engage Invest Exploit, Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise and more directly to entrepreneurs and professional business service providers.

For more information on enterprise and entrepreneurship for researchers contact the KTC Undergraduate students should visit the careers centre website.‌


Knowledge Transfer Centre

The Gateway Building
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9RJ
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 46 2163
Fax:+44 (0)1334 46 2386