Introducing the fourth review of the State of the Relationship (SoR) between business, universities and policy makers, Sam Laidlaw, Chairman, and David Docherty, Chief Executive, of the National Centre for Universities and Business said:

“The UK needs more than ever to have vigorous, vibrant, and productive partnerships that develop graduates and create innovative products and processes.

We are delighted to see such strong examples of university-business partnerships, and we believe these could be further strengthened, particularly in the following areas:

• Cross-disciplinary problem solving.
• New ways of progressing into higher education through, for example, apprenticeships.
• A deeper commitment by businesses to innovation through university collaboration.
• Increased connectivity at the local level to provide opportunities to graduates in the regions in which they study, and by scaling up local firms.”
This report provides strong examples of university business partnerships from National Centre members and funders. Updated metrics on progress in collaboration between universities, business and government in the UK monitor show solid healthy growth:
• Investment in university business collaboration from both foreign sources and domestic companies is growing with foreign investment outstripping domestic growth by four times (£1.3bn compared with £336m).
• Industry income for knowledge exchange activities (excluding licensing) received by universities increased by 4.5% in real terms – £906m in 2014 to £947m.
• Postgraduate employment and commercialisation activities are also growing.
• Despite previous concerns, the size of average deals with businesses, small and large, is holding.


About the National Centre for Universities and Business
Inspiring universities and business to work together for growth and prosperity
The National Centre for Universities and Business is an independent and not-for-profit organisation that promotes, develops and supports university-business collaboration across the UK. The National Centre is the only organisation bringing together universities and business to influence government and solve the country’s challenges.

Copies of the report are available here.

For further information:
Shivaun Meehan Head of Communications, National Centre for Universities and Business
T: +44 (0)20 7383 8193 E:

James Lenney, Digital Communications Officer, National Centre for Universities and Business
T: +44 (0)20 7383 8185 E: