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Strong Response To Business Cluster Pilot

Strong Response To Industry NZ Business Cluster Pilot

Industry New Zealand’s Business Cluster Pilot Programme has attracted strong interest and high quality applications.

Forty-one applications were received, of which the Industry New Zealand selection panel chose 18 clusters to take part in the pilot. A list of approved clusters is attached.

The number and quality of the applications led Industry New Zealand to approve three more pilots than originally planned. “In making this decision, the assessment panel was mindful of the high calibre of applications, and the need to be flexible in delivery of our programmes,” Chief Executive Neil Mackay said.

“The successful clusters represent a good spread across regions and sectors, including information and communications technology, biotechnology and niche manufacturing,” Mr Mackay said. “We also chose business clusters at various stages of development, to allow us to thoroughly test the cluster development process in a range of circumstances.”

Business clusters are groups of companies and related organisations that work together to grow their business, but they can also include universities, polytechnics, expert advisers, and customers linked in a value adding chain.

The development of these business clusters is the focus of Industry New Zealand’s pilot programme. “Overseas evidence shows business clusters contribute to economic development by improving regional competitiveness and business performance,” Mr Neil Mackay said.

In well functioning clusters, participants use networks to achieve business objectives such as growth, cost reduction and related infrastructure development that they would not be able to achieve as effectively if acting in isolation.

Mr Mackay said the aim of the Business Clusters pilot was to test the effectiveness of Government involvement in emerging and regional cluster development prior to considering an expanded programme.

The pilot will consist of:

- National co-ordinators

Two national co-ordinators will run the pilot. This will involve building a database of clusters in New Zealand, developing and disseminating resources, and providing initial advice on the cluster development process.

- Cluster Builders’ Toolkit, Training for Cluster Facilitators and Clusters Conference

The cluster builders tool kit will consist of best practice methods, templates, case studies, and tips for facilitators. Training will be provided to cluster facilitators. This will consist of a series of workshops and development of a cluster facilitator’s network. A conference will be held at the end of the evaluation phase where the outcomes of the pilots will be announced.

- Funding Assistance

Funding is available to assist clusters to participate in the pilot. It is for the employment of a cluster facilitator for each cluster. The cluster facilitator will be responsible for the on-going development of the cluster and working with Industry New Zealand to achieve results.

Mr Mackay said it the programme is a pilot to test the best ways to assist in business cluster development. If successful, it could be extended next financial year.

The participants in the pilot programme are attending a business cluster development workshop in Palmerston North on 20-21 March, which is also open to other interested parties.

APPROVED CLUSTERS:

Region Cluster Sector

South Otago Southland Forest Products Development Wood Processing

Dunedin Engineering Niche Manufacturing

Bio South Biotechnology

Lincoln Resources Biotechnology

Canterbury Electronics Niche Manufacturing

Canterbury Nutraceuticals Biotechnology

Canterbury Software ICT

Central Engineering Technologies Niche Manufacturing

New Zealand Optics Industry ICT

Education Taranaki Education

Wairarapa Forestry & Wood Processing Wood Processing

Wellington Creative Manufacturing Niche Manufacturing

North Organics Cluster Niche Manufacturing

NZ Maori Tourism Tourism

Waterwitch Niche Manufacturing

Whangarei Steel/Aluminium Ship Construction Consortium Marine

Waikato Biotech Biotechnology

Archimedes ICT

Ends


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