Design Network North, a hub for innovative design in the North East, is launching today in Gateshead.
The initiative, funded by regional development agency One North East, is being launched with an event at the Open University Building in the Baltic Business Quarter, with keynote speaker Wayne Hemingway.
Design Network North will assess innovative design projects, provide funding, and act as a broker for designers in the region.
It is being co-ordinated by RTC North and supported by the universities of Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside.
There will also be close collaboration between Design Network North and the Design Council, with the North East initiative able to take advantage of a number of Design Council initiatives in the region, such as Designing Demand and Public Services by Design.
It is hoped that the network will eventually be housed in the £13m Design Centre for the North, designed by Red Box Design Group, which received planning permission earlier this month.