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Economic innovation boosted by business clusters

Budget 2002 provides more support for groups of businesses to get together to share experience, talent and innovative ideas so that they can take on the world and win, Economic, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton said the government will be supporting and facilitating business cluster development with $1 million each year from 2002 onwards. The funding builds on a successful pilot, run by Industry New Zealand, which provided support to 18 business clusters in the first few months of this year.

“The government’s framework for Growing an Innovative New Zealand has a significant focus on the value of partnership – between government and the private sector, but also between businesses,” Jim Anderton said.

Under the programme Industry New Zealand will work in partnership with firms seeking to develop a business cluster. The government’s contribution will include:
- assistance for business cluster development;
- supporting cluster facilitators;
- providing opportunities for those working in business clusters to learn from other clusters; and
- assisting clusters to understand markets, opportunities and impediments to growth through research and other projects.

“Small firms with an eye to innovate and grow into export markets will be the main beneficiaries of this initiative. There will also be a wider impact on innovation and business growth,” Mr Anderton said.

Ends

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