TCIOceania14 The importance of facilitation in supporting effective networking in clustering

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TCIOceania14 The importance of facilitation in supporting effective networking in clustering

  1. 1. The Importance of Facilitation in Supporting Effective Networking and Clustering John Coyle 30 May 2014
  2. 2. John Coyle, CEO HunterNet Business Network for 12 years) The Importance of Facilitation in Supporting Effective Networking and Clustering
  3. 3. 1. Background to HunterNet 2. Importance of collaboration and cluster facilitation 3. Lessons from Industry 4. Conclusion and implications Outline
  4. 4. Background to HunterNet (Cluster 1) • a co-operative of approx 200 manufacturers, engineers and consulting companies • Begun in1992 with 6 member firms. • Incorporated in 1992 as a registered, member funded, not for profit co-operative • Group Training Co – 160 Apprentices / Trainees • SME’s with a combined turnover of $900M and 4000+ employees • Funded by Members with NSW govt support
  5. 5. A successful Cluster of Manufacturing Engineering SMEs: Working together Sharing information Building on core competencies Acquiring new skills Seeking joint opportunities and demonstrating THE POWER OF MANY Manufacturing Engineering SMES
  6. 6. Monthly networking meetings held at member firm premises; special interest groups; yearly conference; shared training; formal dinners; group training company to support apprenticeships and more. Outcomes: Firms tender jointly, mentor new firm members and Cluster acts as conduit between government and cluster firms, also supports the procurement of tenders, information for SMEs and more. Facilitated activities that support knowledge sharing
  7. 7. Leadership & vision comes from within the Network  Competitive barriers are mindsets  Trust comes from ongoing demonstrated commitment to the Cluster, with sharing of information and joint initiatives  HunterNet are marketing the Region as well as our members  HunterNet has an important role in shaping the perceptions of our Region and future investment HunterNet: Lessons Learned
  8. 8. Greater marketing focus and effort, particularly on innovation: - Take HunterNet outside the Region - Focus on specific projects with technology bias Drive innovation Promote the Hunter as the engineering/manufacturing heartland of Australia –develop a niche! Position ourselves as the voice of small business in manufacturing engineering sector Continue to develop companies and their potential Identify business opportunities for members HunterNet (from the ex -CEO)
  9. 9. The ability of a business to connect effectively with other organisations is seen as key to contemporary innovation management strategy. Industry clusters, can increase the attractiveness and the effectiveness of cluster environment if they implement the right communication strategies for providing robust knowledge sharing networks and invest appropriately in brand building for the cluster. Aspects such as the focus on regional innovation systems (RIS) and open innovation are likely to add significantly to the understanding and effective facilitation of some future areas of research and practice. Conclusion
  10. 10.  Clusters are about collaboration, not just locating firms and firm owners in the same place. Nearly all experts agree that ideas flow faster in a local community.  The role of a cluster facilitator also encompasses interpretation, interaction and change management regarding both the external/internal environments providing added value for firm members and emphasising the fact that collaborative innovation is more than technology and will become even more important in the future.  Clusters have emerged as an industrial organisational form that is recognised as having superior abilities when compared with single firms that operate in isolation. Ultimately, cluster development fosters national economic development and growth. Conclusion and implications
  11. 11. http://www.creativepipeline.com.au/cp_docd wnld_hn_20yrs_03.html
  12. 12. Thank You! Questions/comments?

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