Ian Merrell: “Rural Business Knowledge Exchange and Innovation: The Contribution of Enterprise Hubs”

In Students by jvnf65

  • Newcastle University
  • Environmental Planning
  • i.merrell@newcastle.ac.uk

I am a qualitative researcher interested in rural sociology. The project is concerned primarily with enterprise hubs and their impact towards increasing the innovative capacity of rural areas. It is well recognised that innovation has geographic and systemic qualities but these have rarely been considered in a rural context. Knowledge exchange is an important aspect of the innovation process yet an uncertainty remains around how rural businesses are exchanging information in these hubs.

I am also involved in two European Interreg projects. Firstly, Rural Growth is concerned with improving SME’s competitiveness through tourism (the visitor economy in particular). My role is a research assistant and I am a active contributor in the inter-regional knowledge exchange meetings. Secondly, INNOGROW is concerned with the innovative capacity of rural SME’s. I have presented research findings at these events. I am an active member of the Trans-Atlantic Rural Research Network which has partner Universities in Europe and America and meet annually.