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Vice Chancellor to co-chair strategic forum for university and business leaders

13 June 2013

Professor Colin Riordan
Professor Colin Riordan BA, PhD

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) has established a Welsh Council which will be co-chaired by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan and Professor Simon Bradley, Vice-President, EADS Innovation Works.

NCUB Wales will help develop, promote and support world-class collaboration between universities to further strengthen and enhance partnership across business and higher education in Wales.

The Council will provide a strategic forum for university and business leaders to identify areas for cooperation, new opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships. Operating across the United Kingdom, the National Centre has been established with support from each of the four major higher education funding bodies including the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW, with funding provided by the Welsh Government), as well as a strategic partnership with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

Professor Colin Riordan said: "A strong and vibrant relationship between universities and business in Wales is crucial to supporting growth, jobs and prosperity. Better co-ordination between our university system and business will also support graduate employability and the transition to the work place, as well as partnerships to advance research and development."

Dr David Docherty, Chief Executive NCUB, said: "World-class collaboration between business and higher education is a cornerstone of economic prosperity. However, to meet waves of global competition, Wales needs to be a land of innovation, cooperation and networking.  The launch of NCUB Wales is a major statement of intent that Welsh universities and businesses in Wales are up for the challenge."

Education and Skills Minister Leighton Andrews said: "The creation of the National Centre for Universities and Business Wales marks a significant step forward in building long and lasting relationships between industry and our universities and that's to be celebrated."

Professor Simon Bradley, added: "Finding the jewels that transfer from ideas into real technology that delivers business benefit is a non-exact science, which requires Industry, Academia and Government to collaborate. Critical breakthroughs happen in our labs but crucially they also happen in Universities, SMEs and other companies – we need to be able to locate, nurture and integrate these breakthrough technologies in a manner that benefits all stakeholders. We need to engender trust relationships so that long term partnerships can flourish. The establishment of NCUB Wales will further advance these goals and I am delighted that we are moving together in this spirit of collaboration, partnership and trust."

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) develops, promotes and supports world-class collaboration between universities and business across the UK. The aim is to find practical ways of harnessing the talent being developed in our universities, and the UK's strength in ground-breaking research and development, for the benefit of the nation's economy.

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