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Specialising in the commercialisation of new products and services, we work with individuals, businesses and the public sector to help create more innovative and vibrant economies.

We have vast experience of helping organisations with all stages of the innovation and IP commercialisation process and currently use this expertise to support partners at a UK regional, national and European level.

RTC North is also a lead UK partner in the worlds’ largest business support network - Enterprise Europe Network - and has established relationships with partners in Asia as well as North and South America.

Our founder and former Chief Executive

Gordon Ollivere MBE founded and grew RTC North from a very small publicly funded project in 1987 into its present position as one of the most successful independent technology transfer companies in the UK, with offices in Sunderland, Leeds and Daresbury

Gordon OllivereIn 2017, RTC North celebrated 30 years of supporting innovation in the North of England, helping companies to protect and commercialise new products and services, as well as offering a range of services to drive business growth.

Shortly after graduating from Newcastle University in 1970, Gordon and his wife Mary went out to Sierra Leone to volunteer as teachers and spent several years following that time working and travelling in other areas of Africa including Northern Nigeria and Kenya. They both fell in love with Africa, and this has led to RTC North's continuing support of the Welbodi Partnership.

In 1980, Gordon returned to the North East, trained as a computer programmer and began working with local manufacturing companies. This led him towards a career in technology support and in 1998 Gordon was awarded an MBE for his services to business.

An experienced foresight consultant with skills in technology road mapping, scenario planning, horizon scanning and other methodologies, Between 1999 and 2008, he managed a large regional project in UK, and subsequently advised policy makers on the set up of similar programmes in several EU member states (Germany, Poland, Belgium, Slovenia).

An avid scuba diver whose underwater experiences range from the Caribbean to the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, Gordon also likes swimming along on the surface and following his retirement in 2016, has enjoyed open water swimming vacations with seals and basking sharks in the chillier waters around the UK coast.

A former rugby player for Newcastle University and North Durham, Gordon is now a keen football fan with a particular weakness for Sunderland AFC. His son, Jamie, remains a director in the business and with the wider team is working towards the company vision of a Northern economy, which is amongst one of the most competitive in the world.

Our History

RTC North originated as the Regional Technology Centre (RTC) for the North East and Cumbria – one of a network of 12 set up by national government in 1987.

Whilst others have failed to adapt to self-financing status, RTC North has grown steadily into its current position as a trusted and long established business support organisation regionally, nationally and European-wide. It now provides professional services in technology, innovation and business growth, and employs over 50 people in offices in Sunderland, Gateshead, Leeds and Daresbury.


A project is founded at Newcastle University as part of a public network of 12 regional technology centres


RTC North becomes a company and moves to small offices in Sunderland


New contract awarded: Technical Support contract


European Commission contracts create major new European opportunities


Universities for the North East co-locates with RTC North


Increased regional funding received for technology transfer.

RTC North move to bigger premises on Hylton Park, opened by Ian Gibson , CBE, Nissan Managing Director


Improved links with universities leads to stronger focus on R&D exploitation


RTC North 10th Anniversary


New contracts won: NHS Innovations North, Foresight North East project launched


New contract won: Manufacturing Advisory Service


New contract won: To assist companies accessing EC funding for R&D under FP6

Launch of Bright Ideas in Health Awards, North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) co-locates with RTC North


RTC North office opened in Knowsley by Erik Lickerman.

New contract awarded: Contract to manage the incubator at NetPark Sedgefield County Durham


New contract awarded: to deliver the EU R&D Support Programme in Yorkshire


New contract awarded: Enterprise Europe Network in Yorkshire.

RTC North office opened in Yorkshire, Leeds


Legal entities formed in Yorkshire the North West to ensure more regionally focused offering to regional development agencies.

New contract awarded: Design Network North


RTC North 20th Anniversary, fundraising in aid of Welbodi Partnership


Innovation Pathway ERDF Programmed Launched


New contracts awarded: UKTI International Trade Advisory Service (with NEPIC and NECC), Growth Accelerator delivery contract for North East England

RTC North office opened in Northern Design Centre, Gateshead


New contract awarded: Academic Health Science Network – RTC North responsible for wealth creation


RTC North 25th Anniversary. Lord Kenneth Baker revisits RTC North after launching regional technology centres in 1989


RTC North office opened in North West, Daresbury. NEAA co-locates with RTC North

New contract awarded: Enterprise Europe Network, RTC North is the lead partner for the North of England & the North West, Yorkshire
and Humber and the North East


RTC North relocates Sunderland Headoffice to larger premsis, Loftus House.

New contract awarded: Designing Better Business