A Scoping Study of Innovation Connectors and their potential for community engagement

The North East Regional Economic Strategy and ERDF 2007-2013 programme both identify the need for the region to capitalise further on its existing research facilities and Centres of Excellence in order to boost innovation capacity, productivity, and the quality of employment

The study was commissioned to identify opportunities for the seven technology-oriented ‘Innovation Connectors’ to promote employment and enterprise among currently under-represented groups, notably SMEs and people living in disadvantaged areas. Our work involved stakeholder consultation via interviews and workshops, identification of options for funding and delivery structures, and development of recommendations to inform the subsequent business planning to be undertaken by ONE NorthEast. Our work also included a review of good practices and set out a set of recommendations for widening the impact of the Innovation Connectors through community engagement. Client: ONE NorthEast (North East of England Regional Development Agency)