Clusters in Australia - A potted history
30 May 2014
Clusters in Australia - A potted
10 Factors about Clusters in the
1 Confusion between
• - clusters as a physical phenomenon, and
• - cluster programs as an engagement mechanism
to address market failure.
2. Cluster programs’ are really about addressing
coordination failure, managerial myopia,
information failure, negative externalities,
monopoly power, missing markets. Good message
for Treasury officials.
3. Accept that 50% of people are not inherently
collaborative. So go around them – and look for
triggers e.g. events, contracts, champions.
4. Most successful cluster programs? - Cairns
(super yachts, tropical foods, fisheries) and
Adelaide (water, Defence Teaming Centre)
5. Strongest clusters? Barossa wine, Torquay
surfwear, Northern Adelaide engineering, Gold
Coast tourism, Yarragon antiques.
6. Multi-level funding is best - led by states
with federal and local support, with companies
collaborating on specific projects.
7. Cluster success factors – order of importance
1. Technology/knowledge formation.
2. Local champions.
3. Social capital.
4. Critical mass of suppliers.
5. Specialised infrastructure.
6. Growth prospects.
7. Governance structures.
8. Sophisticated home demand.
9. Local competition.
10. Existence of threat.
8. Federal 2014 Budget - a kick in the guts
9. Suggestion 1 - Shift emphasis to state-local
government and industry
10. Suggestion 2 - Focus on outcomes, and
supply chains. And don’t give up on feds e.g.
Medical Research Fund.