Our partners

The National Centre for Universities and Business is funded by a combination of membership contributions and support from our public funders across the United Kingdom.

Some of our projects and research is funded or sponsored separately. Where this is the case, it is clearly indicated. The National Centre for Universities and Business is independent and not-for-profit.

View our members or read more about our partners in the public sector below:

About our partners

UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation is an independent organisation funded mainly through the Science Budget by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). UKRI launched in April 2018 and operates across the UK with a budget of more than £6 billion.

The new organisation aims to ensure research and innovation continue to flourish in the UK. It brings together seven Research Councils and Innovate UK, and established Research England to oversee functions in relation to university research and knowledge exchange.

UKRI’s three main objectives are:

  • to push the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding
  • to deliver economic impact and social prosperity
  • to create social and cultural impact by supporting our society and others to become enriched, healthier, more resilient and sustainable.

For more information, visit https://www.ukri.org/

Research England

Research England is a new council overseeing UK Research and Innovation’s functions for university research and knowledge exchange in England. It has taken on the research and knowledge exchange functions of the former Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which closed at the end of March 2018. Research England’s activities include:

  • Providing grant funding to English universities for research and knowledge exchange activities
  • Developing and implementing the Research Excellence Framework in partnership with the UK Higher Education funding bodies
  • Overseeing the sustainability of the Higher Education research base in England
  • Managing the £900 million UK Research Partnership Investment Fund
  • Administering Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF)

The largest block of resources distributed by Research England is quality-related or QR funding that, along with equivalent funding streams in devolved administrations, provides the bedrock of the UK research base. QR funding enables universities to respond quickly to new opportunities for collaboration, nurture early-career researchers, form strategic partnerships with businesses and charities and cover the cost of working with funders who do not meet the full cost of research (EU, charities and Research Councils, for example).

For more information, visit https://re.ukri.org.

Department for the Economy

The Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI) is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive.

It is responsible for economic policy development, enterprise, innovation, energy, telecoms, tourism, health and safety at work, Insolvency Service, consumer affairs, labour market and economic statistics services, learning and research, skills training and promoting good employment practice.


Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) is a Welsh Government Sponsored Body. HEFCW administers funds provided by the Welsh Government to support teaching, research and related activities at higher education (HE) institutions, certain HE courses at further education colleges, and the tuition fee grant for Welsh domiciled full-time undergraduates. HEFCW supports the HE system in Wales in delivering Welsh Government priorities and also has responsibilities for initial teacher training for school teachers.

HEFCW also manages GO Wales, a programme that builds relationships with local employers, students and graduates to offer high quality work placements, jobs, work experience and training academies.  Delivered by all of the HE institutions in Wales, GO Wales helps employers to gain access to higher skills and innovative thinking. In turn, the programme offers students and graduates vital experience and helps keep skilled graduates within the Welsh economy.


Scottish Funding Council

SFC is responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in support of the Scottish Government’s national priorities in Scotland’s 37 colleges and 19 universities and higher education institutions.

One of SFC’s key aims is to support university-industry collaboration, to lead to a significant improvement in Scotland in the engagement of business and industry with universities. In partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and industry, SFC is committed to establishing Innovation Centres to support Scotland’s key economic sectors, and to promote good practice in collaboration between universities, colleges and business.



The National Centre for Universities and Business aims to never duplicate or substitute successful work already being carried out by others. In order to support, develop and promote university-business collaboration the National Centre works alongside a number of organisations.

All our work is undertaken in partnership with our members and funders. In addition, the National Centre for Universities and Business works with partners on specfic projects and research, as well as developing strategic partnerships with organisations that share joint aims with the National Centre.

If your organisation is interested in working with the National Centre for Universities and Business, please contact us.

To learn more about the benefits of being part of the NCUB network, browse our Membership pages or contact our Membership Team.

Partnership with UCI

The University Commercialisation and Innovation (UCI) Policy Evidence Unit, at the University of Cambridge supports governments and university leaders in delivering a step change in the contributions universities make to innovation and economic prosperity – nationally and locally – through their commercialisation and other innovation-focused activities and partnerships.