The scale of research and innovation in Northumberland mean businesses are ideally based to benefit from proximity to a wide range of universities and research centres, in the North East of England and Scotland.

Cluster of Universities

Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Edinburgh all rank consistently among the UK’s best universities for teaching and research, and institutions including the University of Sunderland have developed close links with companies in the region based on applied research.

Northumbria University has recently increased it’s research rankings, sitting alongside Newcastle and Durham universities, helping forge the North-East as a powerhouse for research and innovation, rivalling London. The North East universities as a whole have been named as having the strongest team of researchers outside of London, having huge implications across the whole of the North East and Northumberland for investors and businesses.

Research in the region’s universities has been independently assessed as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” in disciplines including biosciences, clinical studies, chemistry, engineering, maths, computer science, environmental studies and art and design.


Research and Innovation Organisations

Blyth in Northumberland is known for its huge potential in renewable energy, deep water ports and cluster of energy, sub-sea businesses. Energy Central, brings together a network of research, innovation and development businesses, partnered with Advance Northumberland, Port of Blyth, Northumberland County Council and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult provides world-leading testing and development facilities for offshore, renewable energy and tidal technologies. They work in four main areas:

  • Addressing the latest research in disruptive technologies
  • Accelerating the growth of companies to drive innovation
  • Energy testing and validation facilities
  • Building a strong supply chain in the North East

Find out more about what Northumberland has to offer to the offshore energy sectors at Energy Central 


The North East and Northumberland provides huge opportunity to build strong businesses within many sectors thanks to it’s investment in research and innovation, network of transport links and abundance of natural resources.