Conference Spotlight: Professor Stephen Roper, Co-Director, National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE)

With Parliament going into recess for the summer, the last big announcements focussed heavily on levelling up the country through investment and housing, both themes featuring in our National Rural Conference 2023.

On Monday 18 September we will be joined by Stephen Roper, Co-Director of the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE).  He will be joining us to discuss how we can unlock the power of rural business and the opportunities available for ‘positive policies’.

Steve has more than 30 years’ experience of researching issues related to small and medium enterprises, innovation and innovation policy in the UK and abroad and has published his findings widely.  He has also been a member of government advisory boards and regularly acts as a consultant regarding small business development and innovation policy internationally.

At NICRE, Steve leads the development and analysis of its large-scale survey of rural and farming businesses. First conducted in 2021, this year’s State of Rural Enterprise Survey is seeking the views of around 3,000 firms in the North East, South West and West Midlands on aspects including the impact of the cost-of-doing-business crisis, response to the climate crisis and the availability of skills/labour in the rural economy.  RSN will be sharing some of the findings with Members once they are published.

Steve will be joined at the session by Paul Wood, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration, East Suffolk Council.  Alongside many of the issues outline, Paul will also be explaining how he and his team have delivered rural development in East Suffolk.


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