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Event connects North East partners to optimise devolution opportunity

5th June 2024

The second Insights North East annual conference comes at a critical juncture for the region and will bring together key policymakers, experts and organisations – all seeking to make the most of the opportunity that devolution presents.

The event, on Monday 24 June, will open with a keynote by Fiona Hill, foreign affairs specialist, author, former presidential advisor, and Chancellor of Durham University, who will help to set the scene for an important afternoon of discussions and analysis.

After the keynote, delegates can join discussions focussing on regional priorities and how partners can influence and shape their development. Discussion topics include:

  1. How can we transition to a sustainable North East? Overcoming local policy challenges to combat climate change
  2. What do we mean by prevention? Seeking a shared endeavour on public service reform
  3. Beyond Growth?  Alternative approaches to regional development and the implications for a new industrial strategy
  4. The unseen policymakers: embedding community voices and remaking social infrastructure

Established in 2022, Insights North East (INE) is a collaboration between Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, the NHS, and local authorities.

It works to harness the investment in research and regional knowledge for the long-term benefit of the North East. It produces actionable insights for North East policymakers and embeds research and knowledge exchange in place-based policy making.

Overall, the aim is to support policy partners in their work to tackle many of its significant and long-standing social and economic challenges. Harnessing the opportunity of the region’s new devolution deal is a central focus.

The North East devolution deal presents a important opportunity for the region. With the newly formed North East Combined Authority, key priorities and investment choices can be made at the local level on issues such as health and wellbeing, climate action, and inclusive growth. The conference will be a chance to engage in thoughtful conversations on devolution and what it means for the region.

Dan Monnery, Chief Strategy Officer at Northumbria University, said: “The INE conference comes at an important and exciting time for the region as we seek to make the most of the opportunities presented by devolution. Strengthening existing collaborations across sectors, from universities to policymakers to businesses and others, is crucial to delivering transformational change in the North East. This conference will be a welcome opportunity to do that and show how we are using university research to make sure policymakers have the evidence and insight they need.”

Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Engagement & Place, Newcastle University: “Insights North East has had a fantastic year of growth. We’ve seen the impact it has on the region through cultivating strategic relationships, working through policy challenges, and helping to create a North East policy engagement ecosystem. The conference will be a great way to showcase INE’s growth and bring together individuals and organisations across the region to look ahead to make the most of the opportunity of devolution.”

The INE annual conference takes place on Monday 24 June and is open to academics, policymakers, community members, and participants from a wide range of sectors interested in joining the day.

To register or for more information visit the Insights North East website.

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