Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Guidelines for applicants Introduction
The Queensland Government’s $405 million Advance Queensland initiative is a comprehensive suite of programs, based on international evidence of ‘what works’, and is designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and build on our natural advantages. It will help position the state as an attractive investment destination with a strong innovation and entrepreneurial culture.
The Advance Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) program supports collaboration and knowledge transfer by enabling businesses to partner with universities to select graduates for specific projects in the businesses.
Under the KTP program, eligible businesses apply in partnership with universities for funding towards the costs of bringing an Honours, Masters or PhD level university graduate into a business to work on an innovative project. Universities facilitate the selection of the graduates and mentor them during the projects.
Grants of up to $50,000 (excluding GST) per project are available for businesses to employ graduates.
About the program
The KTP program aims to:
- strongly encourage increased linkages and closer collaboration between Queensland businesses and universities
- support and encourage innovation and productivity improvement within business create knowledge based jobs.
To be eligible for the KTP program funding, a business must:
- be Queensland based and GST registered with an Australian Business Number
- have been operating for two years or more
- have <200 full-time equivalent staff (FTEs)
- have a strategic innovation project that would benefit from collaboration with a university
- be prepared to manage the project
- provide a statement of viability from the business accountant or two year accountant prepared financial statements including profit and loss and balance sheet.
- contribute one-third of the eligible project costs.
Notes on eligibility
Where a company (entity) is part of a larger group, the company size is determined by the number of employees in the entire group.
Government departments or agencies, local government, government owned corporations, universities, research organisations, industry associations and cooperatives are not eligible to apply for KTP program funding to employ a graduate within their own organisation.
The project must:
- meet the definition of a strategic innovation project
- commence within 90 days after the Queensland Government signs the application approval
- be completed within the agreed project timeframe (all projects must be completed within a six to 12 month timeframe)
- have a distinct set of activities, with aims and outcomes achievable within set timeframes
- be of strategic importance to the business.
A strategic innovation project should represent a real challenge for the business, which it does not have the technical expertise and/or creative solutions to address. The project should result in significant outcome/s for the business e.g. process and product improvements, access to new markets leading to competitive advantage, improved profitability and/or productivity and improved growth resulting in increased employment opportunities.
To be eligible for the KTP program a graduate must:
- be a recent graduate with Honours, or a Masters or a PhD graduate from a Queensland based university (AQ8 level or higher)
- have achieved the above qualification within the last 2 years
- be able to work for a 6 to 12 month period
- be assessed by the university and business to have the necessary skills that match the requirements of the project.
Note: Current PhD or MPhil candidates or Research Higher Degree students who have submitted their thesis but who have not yet graduated can be considered for the KTP placement.
Existing or previous employees of the business, recipients of scholarships from the business and international students are not eligible to be employed as the KTP graduate.
- Participating Queensland-based universities will have 1 point of contact to work with businesses to discuss their project idea to potentially form a partnership for the purposes of submitting a joint KTP application.
- If the joint KTP application is approved the university will be able to assist in the selection of the graduate and participate in a joint recruitment process if required.
- The university will also appoint a mentor to guide the graduate throughout the project. Where supported by the university, consideration will be given to appoint a mentor from an associated entity, where they can show strong links back to the university.
The KTP program funding will cover two-thirds of eligible project costs, up to $50,000 (excluding GST), for eligible participating businesses, comprising the salary of a graduate to work on a project and some costs directly associated with the graduate’s work.
The program will also provide a service fee for the university’s coordinating and mentoring role (minimum of four hours per month). Service fees to the university will not exceed $10,800 (excluding GST) per project (for a 12 month project). This remuneration is in addition to the business’ funding allocation.
The business will contribute one-third of the eligible project costs as a cash contribution and will provide in-kind support for the graduate, covering the full overhead costs of their own participation in the KTP program, including management and supervision of the graduate.
Eligible project costs
Costs may include:
- the graduate’s salary and on-costs (if the business elects to match industry rates, the business would contribute the top up).
- other direct costs (limits apply) which are deemed essential to the graduate’s work e.g. consumables, external training and/or one off travel supplement to take up a position within a regional centre (if over 300km from current place of residence).
Note: As the employer of the graduate the responsibility is on the business to ensure that the graduate is receiving their lawful entitlements including salary. For further information contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Ineligible project costs
Costs may not include the following:
- costs that exceed the grant level
- business as usual activities
- project costs not directly associated to the graduate’s work on the project
- the cost of other projects undertaken by either the business or a related entity, including administrative, operational, production, marketing or employment costs
- licensing and compliance fees
- training costs not deemed essential to the graduate’s work on the project
- conference attendance for the graduate
- inventory costs or capital expenditure.
Conditions of funding
- Advance Queensland KTP program grant recipients must be willing to provide information and be open to attend media/promotion events if requested.
- The successful partnerships must acknowledge the Queensland Government’s funding in all relevant published material, media releases and public statements.
- Applicant partnerships must not submit more than one application in a given round of funding and only one project per business can be worked on at any given time.
1. Strategic nature and level of innovation
You should demonstrate that the project:
- has key aims and objectives which align to the objectives of the business
- highlights which challenges the partnership is likely to address
- is innovative
- is likely to result in significant outcome/s for the business.
2. Project planning, feasibility, budget and timeframes
You should demonstrate that:
- the project is feasible
- project risks have been identified and addressed
- the project is achievable within the stated budget and timeframes.
You should demonstrate the:
- benefits to the business that employing a graduate through the KTP program will bring (include details on the technical expertise and/or creative solution the company lacks to undertake the project independently)
- potential of the partnership to increase new linkages and strengthen collaboration between the business and university.
4. Outcomes for Queensland
You should provide a statement on how you believe this project benefits Queensland including: but not being limited to:
- how the project will contribute to increased employment, including knowledge-based jobs
- how the project will build the capacity of the business to enhance productivity and profitability.
Applications will be assessed in a competitive, merit based process against the program’s assessment criteria by panels with skills in business, research, scientific and/or industry background.
Applicants may be contacted during the assessment process to clarify information provided in the application and/or request further information to enable due diligence and probity assessment.
Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application. Applicants will have 15 days to accept the letter of offer.
The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application form to evaluate applications for the program. Only authorised departmental officers and approved grant assessors have access to this information.
Applicants should note that broad details of successful proposals, agreed outcomes, progress and the level of funding awarded may be published by the Queensland Government. Some information may be used to promote funded projects.
Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of Information Privacy Act 2009.
For audit purposes, the Queensland Government is required to retain the applications and other supplied support material.
The provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 apply to documents in the possession of the Queensland Government.
How to apply
Applications can be completed and submitted on-line.
Your application consists of:
- a completed on-line application form
- acknowledgement of reading and accepting the terms and conditions
- a completed project activities template (available on-line)
- a completed funding summary template (available on-line)
- statement of viability from an accountant or two year accountant prepared financial statements including profit and loss and balance sheet.
You must advise the department of changes which are likely to impact on your eligibility for the Advance Queensland KTP program.
There is no implicit guarantee of approval at any stage of the application process.