Our History

Our History

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) was launched in April 2013, building on the twenty-five year history of predecessor body the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE).


The Council for Industry and Higher Education was founded in 1986 by Jim Prior, John Cassels and Pauline Perry, with Patrick Coldstream appointed as the first CEO. The CIHE was a unique high-level partnership between leaders from businesses, universities and colleges that allowed businesses and universities to talk, develop a shared agenda, influence Government policies and undertake joint projects.

The CIHE established itself as an important voice in the sector lobbying for the expansion of student numbers, establishing the extent of existing collaboration and undertaking research such as a review of the role of the humanities. 

The Council's second CEO was Richard Brown, who served from 1996 to 2009. Under his leadership, the Council led the response to Dearing review by emphasising partnership and employability and published influential reports on increasing international competitiveness, entrepreneurial education and promoting innovation. He was succeeded by David Docherty in 2009.

You can read more about the history of the CIHE in A Successful Partnership: The Council for Industry and Higher Education 1986 - 2008 (pdf), produced to commemorate the 50th meeting of the council in November 2008.

For copies of other CIHE reports from this period, please contact us

CIHE Task Forces

The CIHE established in its later years three Task Forces of industry and higher education leaders around vital economic issues. The reports produced by these Task Forces continue to inform ongoing initiatives and demonstrate policy impact.

Creating the NCUB

Sir Tim Wilson's review of university-business collaboration published in February 2012 recommended that the CIHE develop to become the focal point of university-business collaboration as a membership charity.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) response called for the formation of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB). Following the announcement from BIS, the four funding councils across the UK research councils through RCUK and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) (now Innovate UK) agreed to help fund NCUB.

NCUB was launched with an event at the BT tower, with David Docherty and Richard Greenhalgh becoming the organisation's first CEO and Chairman respectively.

Find out more about Who We Are and What We Do today.

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