21 March 2024

Partnership catalysing rural innovation

Rural Catalyst

The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) at Newcastle University and Rural Design Centre (RDC) are working in partnership to catalyse rural innovation in the North of Tyne area.

The Rural Catalyst collaboration, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), is supporting innovation-led rural economic and community development.

Together the organisations are tackling the challenges facing rural areas through innovation, design, community engagement and knowledge transfer. As part of this, a series of practical workshops will be held.

Collaboration is key

The Rural Catalyst collaboration builds on previous informal joint working between NICRE and RDC, including co-hosting the Rural Catalyst conferences in the North East in 2021 and 2022.

Rural Catalyst programme manager Melanie Thompson-Glen, Head of Business and Innovation at NICRE, highlighted the value of the partnership.

She said: “The Rural Catalyst partnership builds on the strengths of our organisations and, by working together, we are better able to tackle the many challenges our rural areas face through supporting innovation-led economic and community development.

“We are pleased to be joining forces with RDC again to make a difference in rural communities in the North of Tyne area.”

Simon Green, CEO of RDC, said: “Collaboration is key to catalysing innovation and is crucial for work in rural areas. Only by bringing together communities with businesses, public authorities and research excellence can we help unlock the potential in rural communities.

"This is what the Rural Catalyst is here to do and it is excellent to be working with NICRE again following the success of our conferences.”

Follow NICRE and RDC’s social media platforms to keep up-to-date with Rural Catalyst activities.

NTCA is a partnership of three local authorities: Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council and Northumberland County Council and the North of Tyne Elected Mayor.