Research & Innovation

Research & Innovation

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The UK has a world-leading academic research base and universities full of invention and new ideas. The National Centre for Universities and Business is passionate about translating inventiveness into innovation, harnessing this expertise to help businesses transform and grow.

Smart Specialisation Hub

The National Centre co-delivers the Smart Specialisation Hub, England’s platform for place-based innovation intelligence and analysis. Funded by and working with Government, the Hub provides data, best practice advice and insight to local actors across the country, and triangulates national policy inputs with local and regional innovation strategies. The Hub also works to embed the nation’s world-leading research specialisms into local growth projects and priorities.

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

The Government is committed to increasing investment in R&D to position the UK as the world’s most innovative economy. About 65% of R&D investment in the UK comes from the private sector with about half of that amount coming from firms headquartered overseas. The Government will only meet its commitment if there is a major increase in business investment in the UK. Historical patterns suggest strong partnerships between universities and businesses are a significant factor in attracting that investment.

In autumn 2018, the National Centre for Universities and Business convened several meetings of business and university representatives to explore how to deliver the Government’s commitment to raise total R&D investment in the UK to 2.4% of GDP by the year 2027. Read more.

Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge Exchange (KE) is at the heart of university-business collaboration.NCUB aims to clearly define models of KE and best practice as well as establishing the actions and tools needed to increase the scale and quality of university, business and community Knowledge Exchange. Read more.

Brighton Fuse

Brighton Fuse analyses the growth of Brighton’s successful creative, digital and information technology (CDIT) cluster, and has resulted in potentially industry-changing financial impact from learnings on innovation and economic development.

London FusionLondon Creative and Digital Fusion

London Creative and Digital Fusion is a programme of interactive, tailored support designed to help London’s creative and digital small and medium-sized businesses collaborate, innovate and grow.

UK Fuse

UK Fuse is a programme to develop the country's creative and digital economy. 'Fuse' refers to the potential of creative and digital business to ignite British economic growth. 'Fusion' takes places when creative inspiration is integrated with digital and IT skills to produce 'fused' businesses.


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