Skip to content

Rural Economies Centre of Excellence

The Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE) is a first-of-its-kind rural economic research collaboration between The University of Queensland, James Cook University, Central Queensland University and The University of Southern Queensland. 

RECoE delivers positive impact in rural community development, deepening and diversifying regional economies, to achieve thriving and internationally competitive regional economies. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, the centre addresses regional and rural economic problems and opportunities, providing solutions that integrate the economics of innovation with world-leading technical expertise on regional economic development.


As agriculture continuously evolves, traditional business models in agriculture and related industries focused on farm production with limited market intelligence and value chain development are out-dated. Innovative business models and integrated value chains are needed for the development of new markets, global trades and to meet the ever-changing consumer demands.
RECoE is modelling and implementing a policy framework that supports and enables economic development in rural areas. The aim is to provide a comprehensive and integrated rural policy framework by assessing the impact of policy and identifying areas for improvement through evidence base for a more synchronised and empowering policy.
While many rural areas are in economic decline and transition, opportunities for major economic growth exist and the potential is not being fully explored.  With business acumen and business culture generally being poor in regional areas, farmers rely on an episodic agricultural economy base. Basic economic infrastructure such as digital connectivity is limited with low digital literacy. Some communities have experienced a resource industry boom followed by a low. Tourism is growing and becoming a key addition to the economic sector, but few businesses are developing and expanding into tourism.
A key role for RECoE is to analyse the translation processes of research program outcomes, and for rural stakeholders to develop economic resilience from these findings. 

Title: Regional Drought Resilience Planning 
Leader: Associate Professor Ben Lyons  
Project Team: University of Queensland | James Cook University | Central Queensland University. 
Funding Body: Australian Government's Future Drought Fund | Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries  

Support regions to develop regional drought resilience plans to prepare for and manage future drought risks. 
A major component to rural economies is the development of value chains in agriculture. Detailed planning, organisation and implementation allow for better access to diverse markets and with market research analysed, quality standards are better met. This results in higher value being gained from agricultural products, develops new markets with the producer having an increased rate of product worth.
The Regional Community Development Program, develops and conducts community-partnered research and practice to improve the social and economic vitality of regional communities and contribute to understanding and knowledge of regional community development. 

Industry and collaborators