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Meet the team powering the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE).

Newcastle people

Frances Rowe – Research Associate

I’m a Research Associate in Rural Development at NICRE. My research interests focus on rural policy development and evaluation. I'm currently involved, as part of Newcastle team, with the Centre for Evaluation of Complexity across the NEXUS CECAN. It aims at transforming the practice of policy evaluation across the food, energy, water and environmental domains. I'm also interested in the rural creative economy and how creativity and culture contribute to rural place-making and innovation and the potential for natural capital and ecosystem services to create new opportunities for rural businesses. Before coming to academia, I was a rural development practitioner for many years. I'm also former chairman of Northumberland National Park and a board member of the former Countryside Agency.

Gloucester people

Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins – Senior Research Fellow

I’m a Senior Research Fellow at NICRE and at the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). I’m an interdisciplinary researcher specialised in rural and regional development, working towards inclusive futures for rural people and places. My work investigates how historic and contemporary policies and practices help, or hinder, thriving regions, and experiments with new models to re-enable those ‘left behind’. I collaborate with sustainable development practitioners and local government to broker knowledge and translate research into policy-ready language and practical tools. My work on creating rural-urban connections is featured in the European Commission’s Handbook of Sustainable Urban Development Strategies. I’m currently involved in two H2020 projects (ROBUST and IMAJINE). I’m an affiliate of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD), have been an invited speaker for the National Trust and the Assembly of European Regions and, in 2019, I was recognised as one of the Welsh Crucible’s thirty emerging research leaders.

Warwick people

Steve Roper – Co-Director

I’m Co-Director of NICRE, Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School and Director of the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC). I am an economist with over 30 years’ experience of researching issues related to small and medium enterprises, innovation and innovation policy in the UK and internationally and have published widely in both areas. I have led over 70 externally funded projects, have been a member of a number of government advisory boards, and I regularly act as a consultant for OECD and the World Bank on issues related to small business development and innovation policy including projects in Austria, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Israel, Columbia and Poland, Austria and Canada over the last four years. I am an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the RSA.