REF results hammer home the importance of university-business collaboration to the UK’s future, says NCUB

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB)

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THE results of the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) identify ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ research across the UK. Indeed, 41% of submissions were judged to be world leading, and 43% as internationally excellent. Crucially, REF2021 – through the increased weighting for ‘impact’ – recognises the transformative effects of successful university-business collaborations.

Commenting on the results of REF2021, Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), said: “REF2021 shows that universities in all regions of the UK, are working – frequently with businesses – to produce research. This research is internationally significant, and in many cases world-leading. The UK’s research base is a distinct national asset that attracts business, investment and talent. Today’s results reinforce this.”

Marshall concluded: “It is vital that the integrity of the UK research base is protected. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the importance of effective university-business collaboration and this has been  illustrated in REF2021 case studies. However, whilst today’s results should be celebrated, now is no time for complacency. The effects of the pandemic coupled with more recent economic instability, are limiting the capacity of both to work with one another. Universities and business require the full support of Government to continue to deliver, independently and in partnership, research that improves our economy, health and society.”     
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