About Us


The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) is a public-private partnership with the  sole purpose of increasing the value, intensity and diversity of university-business collaboration.

We focus on building stronger connections between universities and business around the national agendas of skills, innovation and place. Our work is driven and supported by our network that uniquely brings businesses, universities and government together. We catalyse collaboration to address key challenges, circulate and celebrate breakthroughs, work together on policy development, create and support unique digital platforms for skills, innovation and information, and amplify the voice of this partnership to government.

Talent 2030 was a programme of work which illustrates our belief in investing in and nurturing the UK talent base to support and drive the UK economy. Beyond this, we recognise that addressing deepseated issues around gender equality will require coordinated action across a range of stakeholders.

At present only 10.3% of the UK’s professional engineers are women, the lowest level in Europe. From any perspective this is a huge waste of potential talent. In 2012 an NCUB taskforce led by Richard Greenhalgh, former Chairman of Unilever UK, and Nigel Thrift, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, recognised the need to encourage more talented young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering. Engineering holds problem-solving at its heart, and it’s hard to solve a problem if everyone thinks the same way; what the manufacturing and engineering base needs is diversity in its thinking.

And so Talent 2030 was born, and has grown over the past six years. Since 2012 we have worked with more than 2,000 girls from 300 schools across the UK, and awarded £18,000 of prize money. We could not have done so without our tremendous sponsors, Rolls-Royce, PepsiCo and Centrica, supporting the drive to match young, creative and diverse minds with rewarding careers and life-long opportunities for development and success.

The competition closed down in 2019 and is no longer running or accepting entries.

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