Who we work with

Researchers and academics

Our team at each of our founding university partners conducts research to increase our knowledge and deepen our understanding. This changes the way we think about rural enterprises, how we address their challenges and identify new opportunities.

We expand our portfolio by commissioning research from academics in institutions across the UK.

We held our first ‘Open Call’ in 2021 for our Research and Innovation Fund for academics to come forward with research proposals on our themes of productive rural, smart rural, engaged rural and resilient rural. We commissioned seven diverse projects which have mapped England rural microclusters of creative industries, explored entrepreneurs’ attitudes towards community placemaking and transport planning and examined the performance of rural food hubs.

Practical recommendations to encourage older rural shoppers back into stores in the wake of Covid-19 from another of the projects have fed into the Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) Everyone Welcome Guide for retailers.

We have launched our second ‘Open Call’ and invite academics to submit proposals by 15 December 2022 - see Applications sought for funding to research rural enterprise.