13 May 2021

New research projects to shine spotlight on rural enterprise

Expanding NICRE's research portfolio

Seven new research projects exploring rural enterprise across England are being launched.

The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) has awarded £100,000 funding for research to be carried out by a variety of universities to expand its portfolio.

These projects are to shine the spotlight on rural creative industries, assess the impacts of COVID-19 on rural shoppers and retailers and consider innovation in rural and agricultural shows and implications for rural businesses.

Research is also being conducted to examine the performance of rural food hubs, explore the attitudes of rural entrepreneurs towards community well-being and future transport planning, understand the contribution of social enterprises to rural economies, and lift the lid on food, farming and forestry businesses in rural areas.

More details about each of the projects – which explore NICRE’s themes of productive rural, smart rural, engaged rural and resilient rural – will be available soon in research.

Providing evidence to inform better policy

Prof Jeremy Phillipson, director of NICRE, said: “We are delighted with the response to our first open call and the breadth of research ideas put forward.

“Filling gaps in our current knowledge of rural enterprise and innovation is one of our key aims and we look forward to many insightful findings which will help us provide evidence to inform better policy and support for rural economies.

“We’re really keen to broaden our portfolio of research and grow the NICRE research network beyond our three founding universities and it was excellent to see the high levels of interest from other higher education institutions.”

The new research projects bring a further seven higher education institutions into NICRE’s research network, including Universities of East Anglia, Lincoln, Middlesex, Northumbria, Southampton, Sussex, and the Royal College of Art and, in addition, the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre.

The funding is from round one of NICRE’s Research and Innovation Fund with round two expected to be open for applications early next year.

For more information about NICRE email nicre@newcastle.ac.uk. To keep up to date, sign up for updates or follow on TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook.