Untapped opportunities in university business collaboration


Universities and business understand the benefits and importance of collaboration to solve problems and open new opportunities. And the UK government ambitions for economic and productivity growth requires our universities to work with businesses to raise productivity and grow knowledge intensive economies.


A new report ‘The Changing State of Business-University Interactions in the UK 2005-2021’ surveyed almost 4,000 businesses on their interactions with universities. The survey reports more businesses see the benefits of interacting with a university today than reported in 2009.


However, the report says collaboration is hindered by a businesses’ own lack of capacity to work with universities, as well as insufficient information on the opportunities of partnering with a university.

Dr Marshall, NCUB CEO says this is holding back greater collaboration and is costing UK innovation. “Now is the time for universities, businesses and policy makers to … strengthen the ties with the private sector that are so central to our economy and society.”

NCUB discussions with businesses further revealed that third party organisations help businesses to navigate universities, connecting them with academics specific to their innovation needs. And, universities discussed the role of konfer, NCUB’s digital brokerage tool, as a solution to help business navigate the university sector. Through konfer, calls for collaboration from business can be shared directly with over 150 UK universities.

To view a summary of the key findings see here. The report can be read in full here, and NCUB's accompanying discussion report can be read here.


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