There is a significant amount of untapped innovation potential in the North of Tyne region.

Our aim is to tap into that potential and support the development and progression of businesses, organisations and the rural economy in the Northeast of England.

Through the delivery of design and innovation challenges we aim to support local small and medium sized businesses and organisations in the development of a new product or service. 

By working with our communities, we discover where the opportunities are to address a whole range of challenges attributed to rural living. 

A great example of this in action is the support being provided to a collective of village halls and community centres. We have supported them to obtain funding to carrying out feasibility studies to better understand what they can do to lower their heating and maintenance costs and become more sustainable by having on-site renewable energy.

Then, based on the results of the feasibility studies we are helping to source companies that can undertake the work required to retro-fit the buildings resulting in fully useable, comfortable spaces that can be used by the whole community.

People sitting in an open meeting space with projector up front

Supporting your Organisation

We will bring together key stakeholders and industry experts to work alongside you throughout the Innovation Challenge process.

We will make sure that you have access to the necessary expertise required to make your ideas a reality before assisting you to bring your product or service to the market.

Hadrians Wall


To be eligible, your organisation must meet the Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) definition, with a trading address in Northumberland, Newcastle or North Tyneside, not be in financial difficulty and comply with EU State Aid and UK Subsidy Control rules.

People sitting around a table in discussion

Innovation Challenges

We have learned a great deal about the challenges facing our local rural communities and as we continue to work alongside both community leaders and local businesses, we are helping to find solutions to alleviate these issues. Recent work has ranged from facilitating the installation of an e-charging station for the use of bike, scooters and cars in a remote train station to a design-based challenge based on a new visitor attraction to the region.

People working together at a table with laptops and tablets

Grant Programme

Following involvement with an Innovation Challenge, organisations with a total project value of up to £6,000 can apply for up to 50% of grant funding towards the development of new products and services.