Continuing our work in equality, diversity and inclusion

News
We have been busy across 2020 with two important contracts based in Ireland.  Both build on our previous work for Advance HE to evaluate the impact of the Athena SWAN Charter, which is designed to support higher education and research institutions to address gender inequalities.  The first, for the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, has seen us work closely with the Institute’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Mary Nestor, to provide the evidence needed to support their application for the Athena SWAN Bronze Award.  This involved the design and administration of staff surveys and facilitation of six focus groups, including one with the Executive Board. The second, for the Irish Research Council (IRC), is to evaluate the IRC Gender Strategy and Action Plan, launched in 2013 with the aims of…
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NTCA strikes partnership with NICD

News
Two of our clients, the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) at Newcastle University have recently announced a new partnership to support economic growth and Covid-19 recovery.  NICD operates a unique business model within the higher education sector.  Instead of engaging with businesses and organisations through the usual contracted research approach, it focuses on developing the data science skills and capabilities of staff within client companies and organisations.  This is done through collaborative projects with NICD playing an advisory, mentoring role to support client staff to deliver a business-critical project and gain new skills and capabilities along the way.  This means that skills are developed within the client company, leading to sustainable productivity gains, ongoing innovation and long-term business performance improvements.  The…
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Design Economy work platformed at Atlanta Design Festival

News
Over recent years we have built up a close working relationship with the Atlanta Design Festival and have been honoured to have contributed on three occasions. One of the many disappointments of 2020 has been the postponement of the Festival.  But Festival organisers MA! are nothing if not adaptive and innovative.  Instead of holding a physical festival this year, they converted the Festival to an online event from 12th to 20th September. We were delighted to see the work we completed for them about the size and scale of the Atlanta Design Economy platformed in one of the sessions.  The presentation can be found at https://atlantadesignfestival.net/ We’re currently thinking about how design might help cities and places improve their recovery from the economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. …
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Ortus ER collaboration wins prestigious Planning Award

News
One of the most rewarding things that can happen in any job is to receive external acknowledgement of the quality and impact of your work.  So we were delighted to have recently discovered that a project we had collaborated on has won a prestigious Planning Award.  Specifically, the MK2050 Milton Keynes Strategic Growth Study won the Plan-Making category at the 2020 Planning Awards. Our role was to provide economic insight and to develop future economic scenarios so we could then outline what growth might look like over the next three decades. This was a challenging but very interesting brief, one which provided us with an opportunity to not only present detailed analysis, but to think through the implications of various types of growth and to consider wider economic, social and…
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Creative Industries in the North of Tyne

Economic growth, Research, analysis and evidence, University
Ortus and survey partners Qa Research have been commissioned by Newcastle University to undertake a mapping study of the creative and cultural industries in the North of Tyne area. Scoping work in this area has identified that existing data is patchy in both coverage and depth, and some derived from national statistics rather than locally grounded research. This research will map the distinctive characteristics of the creative industries in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area and identify particular challenges or barriers to growth. The University has considerable research strengths in the creative and cultural industries and already works in partnership with the sector on a range of projects and strategic initiatives. The aim of this work is to better enable the University to identify and respond to local need…
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Employment and skills issues in the North East

Local Enterprise Partnership, Research, analysis and evidence, Skills and labour markets
Ortus and survey partners Qa Research have been commissioned to deliver an assessment of current and future skills and employment needs in the tourism and offshore wind sectors in the North East, and an assessment of the digital skills and employment needs in the region's health and social care sector. The research has been commissioned by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership on behalf of the North East Skills Advisory Panel, and will involve a survey of employers in each of the three sectors and a series of in-depth interviews, as well as analysis of secondary data. The research will help the Skills Advisory Panel and the LEP to ensure that skills provision reflects employer needs. The North East Local Enterprise Partnership is a public, private and education sector partnership.…
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