Previous Events

Previous Events

Here are NCUB's past event highlights. To keep up to date with our programme, view our upcoming events here, or sign up for our newsletter.​

NCUB R&D Taskforce Launch

NCUB eventThe Taskforce Report launch event took place on Friday 13th November 2020. We were joined at the event by Sam Laidlaw, Chair of NCUB and David Sweeney, Executive Chair at Research England, UKRI. The panel included Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBE: President of CBI, Anne Glover, CBE: CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners and Professor Louise Richardson: Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

To watch the recording of the webinar see here: 

To view the presentation slides see here:

To download the R&D Taskforce report see here:

NCUB Chair's Reception 2020


Networking event - 8 January 2020 (London)

We opened the year with our annual Chair's Reception, joined by colleagues from across the university and business sector, Government and public policy, as guests of our Chair Sam Laidlaw and Baroness Rona Fairhead at the Houses of Parliament. 

We were delighted to hear from outgoing NCUB Board member of four years, Julia Buckingham, Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London and President of Universities UK, and from Chris Skidmore, Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, who delivered his first ministerial speech since his reappointment.


View photos from the 2020 Chair's Reception here:



NCUB Annual Lecture delivered by Mike Rees

events05Annual lecture - 19 November 2019 (London) / Read the transcript

The Annual Lecture is a flagship event in the NCUB calendar given by a university or business leader and this year we were delighted to have Mike Rees, former Deputy Group CEO, Standard Chartered, offer his insights on the very topical area of improving university relations with investors.

Drawing on his recent report providing independent advice to Research England, Mike delivered a lecture titled 'Translating university research into commercial value: a glass half full or half empty'.

The lecture included an interactive Q&A, followed by a networking drinks reception with the invited audience, including UKRI and members of the investor community.


State of the Relationship 2019

SoR event icon

Report launch - 19 June 2019 (London)

The 2019 launch event for NCUB's flagship publication was held at RICS in London. The event kicked off with NCUB Chairman Sam Laidlaw's address, followed by NCUB CEO Dr Joe Marshall's introduction of the key findings of the 2019 State of the Relationship Report: Changemakers Building the Future Through Partnership.


The event continued with a panel discussion with:

After the panel, David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England shared his reflections on the state of university-business collaborations and the event finished off with an awards ceremony for the NCUB-Research England Collaboration Captured university-business interaction photo competition.

Download the report here.

View photos from the 2019 State of the Relationship report launch here:

NCUB Chair's Reception 2019


Networking event - 9 January 2019 (London)

At our Annual Chair’s Reception, senior business and university leaders, and policy-makers joined a unique, high-level networking event at the Houses of Parliament. In addition to our hosts NCUB Chair Sam Laidlaw and Lord David Willetts, David Sweeney from Research England and Julie Lydon from the University of South Wales spoke at the event.


View photos from the 2019 Chair's Reception here:



Smart Specialisation Conference

events01Conference - 29 November 2018 (London)

The Smart Specialisation Hub's first Annual Conference was a high-level event that brought together Government, agencies, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Combined Authorities, universities and more to reflect on the essential role place-based innovation and collaboration must play in driving economic growth, increasing productivity and fully leveraging the UK’s leading research and innovation strengths.

Senior representation from BEIS, UKRI and partner organisations were present, alongside leading academics working in the place policy space. 

Read our blog about the event.


Talent 2050: Engineering Skills and Education for the future

Talent 2050 Cover eventsWorkshops - 21 November (London), 27 November 2018 (Birmingham and Southampton), 5 December (Sunderland), 10 December (Glasgow)

The National Centre for Universities and Businesses has launched 'Talent 2050: Engineering skills and education for the future' - a UK-wide study looking to inform thinking on the needs of our engineering and digital education and skills systems into the middle of the century.

NCUB ran a series of workshops across the country looking at how technological change will affect and shape our future engineering skills needs.

Download the final report.


NCUB Annual Lecture delivered by Sky

Annual Lecture - 19 November 2018 (London) / Read the transcript

In ‘What can academia and business learn from each other’ Sky COO and CFO Andrew Griffith explored enhancing the user experience and business models that are fit for the future, in the context of the increasing impact of technology on society.

Followed by a drinks reception, this annual flagship event provided real insight and major networking opportunities, with leaders from universities, business and government in attendance.

About Andrew Griffith:

AGriffithAndrew is Sky’s Group Chief Operating Officer & CFO working across all of Sky’s seven European markets including the UK. He has been a main board director of Sky plc for over ten years and was previously Group CFO. Andrew is also Senior Independent Director and former Interim Chairman of Just Eat plc, the £5.5 billion, FTSE100 UK based consumer technology company.

Andrew joined Sky in 1999 from Rothschild and held a number of senior roles prior to his appointment to the Sky Board in 2008. He has a Law degree from Nottingham University and is a qualified chartered accountant. Andrew is a shareholder in a number of disruptive start-ups.


View photos from the Annual Lecture here: 


Can we deliver the UK’s Industrial Strategy without degree apprenticeships?


Conference - 8 November 2018 (London)

This one-day conference considered the role of degree apprenticeships in delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy, closing skills gaps in key sectors and creating new high-value jobs.

It examined the current policy landscape and explore how supply and demand for degree apprenticeships is incentivised. Delegates will discuss and shape a vision for the future of degree apprenticeships and generate recommendations for policy-makers.

Find out more about degree apprenticeships and what the National Centre is doing in this area.


Student wellbeing - Supporting the transition from education to employment


Roundtables - 4 October, 10 October 2018 (London)

The mental health of students has gained wide publicity recently but there has been less attention on the experiences of students during transition into the workplace. Universities and businesses share an interest and responsibility to build resilience and support new graduates to thrive in the workplace.

The final roundtable was held on World Mental Health Day to promote and celebrate the work of our members and NCUB will advise the student mental health charity ‘Student Minds’ on the outcome of the series.

Find out more about student wellbeing and what the National Centre is doing in this area.


Social mobility - Enabling opportunities for all


Roundtables - 16 October, 30 October (London), 1 November 2018 (Leeds)

Many NCUB members have expertise in social mobility, yet initiatives have less impact when they occur in isolation. To combat this, our series of focused, cross-sector meetings have brought together the expertise of our business and university members to consider where collaboration could more effectively provide a supportive environment for students and graduates from all backgrounds.

Find out more about social mobility and what the National Centre is doing in this area.


Leveraging university-business collaboration to raise total R&D investment in the UK to 2.4% of GDP


Roundtables - 11 Septmeber (London), 2 October (Birmingham), 3 October (Manchester), 9 October 2018 (London)

Chaired by Professor Graeme Reid, Strategic Advisor to NCUB

The Government’s commitment to 2.4% of GDP investment in research and development by 2027 will require a major increase in business investment in the UK. Historical patterns suggest that strong partnerships between universities and businesses are a significant factor in attracting that investment.

Government has promised to publish a plan for the delivery of its 2.4% commitment during autumn 2018. Key conclusions from these discussions have been submitted to Government and UKRI before the plan is published.

Find out more about raising R&D investment and what the National Centre is doing in this area.


Maintaining the UK’s high standing in the world of knowledge exchange


Roundtables - 18 Septmeber (London), 11 October (London), 25 October (Cardiff), 14 November 2018 (Glasgow)

Chaired by Professor Graeme Reid, Strategic Advisor to NCUB

To deliver against the ambitions of the Industrial Strategy, and extract the fullest value from the UK’s research and innovation capabilities, even better university-business collaboration will be required.

In concert with Research England, we have brought together examples of success, ambition and remaining obstacles to better knowledge exchange. These will be submitted to Research England and devolved funding bodies to build on earlier NCUB advice on the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). This latest NCUB advice will coincide with the next stage in the development of the KEF.

Find out more about knowledge exchange and what the National Centre is doing in this area.


State of the Relationship 2018


Report launch - 26 June 2018 (London)

The launch event for NCUB's flagship publication was held at Bush House, King's College London. The event kicked off with NCUB Chairman Sam Laidlaw's address, followed by Dr Joe Marshall's introduction of the key findings of the 2018 State of the Relationship Report.


The evening continued with a panel discussion with:

David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England finished off with reflections on the state of university/business collaborations in 2018.

Browse the 2018 State of the Relationship report online.

View photos from the report launch here:


Knowledge Exchange Framework

events01Roundtables - 17 April, 12 April, 27 March, 1 March, 8 February, 30 January, 10 January 2018

NCUB hosted a series of roundtables to inform our response to the HEFCE-led consultation on the development of a Knowledge Exchange Framework announced by Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.

Chaired by Professor Graeme Reid, Strategic Advisor at NCUB and Research England Council Member, the roundtables engaged NCUB members on the consultation, feeding in views, ideas and suggestions from both universities and businesses.

Find out more about knowledge exchange and what the National Centre is doing in this area. 


NCUB Degree Apprenticeships Report

events05Report Launch - 12 March 2018

The launch event for the report "Degree Apprenticeships: supporting talent development and social mobility"  included keynote addresses from Nicola Turner MBE (HEFCE - now Office for Students), Dr Katherine Barclay (Institute for Apprenticeships), Dr Joe Marshall, (NCUB) who spoke about addressing some of the policy challenges captured in the report.

The report shines a light on how Degree Apprenticeships are influencing the development of employers’ talent strategies and the ways in which they can contribute to social mobility. It also highlights a number of policy challenges affecting their implementation and the future talent landscape.

The keynotes were followed by a discussion on future policy priorities for Degree Apprenticeships.

Find out more about degree apprenticeships and what the National Centre is doing in this area.


Higher Education Business and Community Interaction


Conference - 14 February 2018

HEFCE began discussions with the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) about conducting a review of the The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey and asked the National Centre for Universities and Business to convene a one-day event to seek views from the community on a proposed review.

Directors of enterprise, heads of KE teams, technology transfer professionals and researchers in the field of university innovation attended NCUB's conference on 14th February at the London Campus of the University of Liverpool.

The event saw presentations from Dan Cook (HESA) as well as David Sweeney (HEFCE/Research England) and attendees had the opportunitiy to share their views.


Consultation on Accelerated Degrees


Roundtables - 10 & 11 January 2018

In order to respond to the Department for Education's  proposal for a series of measures aimed at increasing provision of and demand for accelerated degrees in England, NCUB held two roundtable discussions in January bringing together representatives of universities, businesses and colleagues from HEFCE.


The roundtables explored:

  • the areas of higher and lower likely demand for accelerated degree courses – in terms of types of courses, and providers
  • the benefits for individuals from different backgrounds or at different points in life, such as mature students
  • how the new regulatory framework and regulator could support their widespread and rapid adoption
  • the impact for employers of increasing numbers of accelerated degree graduates in the available workforce
  • how to raise awareness and improve understanding of accelerated degrees – for potential students and employers as well as providers

NCUB Chair's Reception


Networking event - 10 January 2018

The annual chair’s reception was hosted by Sam Laidlaw and Lord Willetts. Held at the House of Commons, senior business and university leaders, and policy-makers joined a unique, high-level networking event and had the chance to meet our Board and Council of Leaders.


View photos from the 2018 Chair's Reception here:


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

Expand for more