Industry Clusters: the Role of Facilitators in Harnessing
the ‘Power of Many’
Julia Connell
Academic Summit: Innovation an...
16th TCI Annual Global Conference, Kolding Denmark
Industry Clusters: the Role of Facilitators in Harnessing
the ‘Power of...
1. Background
2. Clusters and Innovation
3. Cluster Relationships
4. Importance of collaboration and
cluster facilitation
...
Paper focuses on networking/clustering and the stimulation of
collaborative innovation through knowledge sharing. Case stu...
Mechanisms need to be in place to assist the sharing of
information and the mutual exchange of ideas. As such, a
range of ...
Clusters can provide both hard and
soft benfits
•Supply chains
•Labour pools
•Specialised services
•R&D and technology
•Ra...
Research indicates that social ties, free-flowing
communication and levels of trust between the source
and recipient are g...
Cluster Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4
Location Hunter, NSW, AustraliaCentral Coast, NSW,
Australia
Dubai, UAE Du...
Cluster Activities to support knowledge sharing
Cluster 1 Monthly networking meetings held at member firm premises; specia...
Cluster 1: Firms tender jointly, mentor new firm members and Cluster
acts as conduit between government and cluster firms,...
Cluster 1: Collaborative Strategies:
• Working together
• Sharing information
• Building on core competencies
• Acquiring ...
Leadership & vision comes from within the Cluster
 Competitive barriers are mindsets
 Trust comes from ongoing demonstra...
The ability of business to connect effectively with other
organisations is seen as key to contemporary innovation
manageme...
Clusters are about collaboration, not just
locating firms and firm owners in the same
place. Nearly all experts agree that...
Thank You!
Questions/comments?
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TCI2013 Industry clusters: the role of facilitation in supporting knowledge sharing and collaborative innovation

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By Julia Connell, Curtin University, Australia, presented at the 16th TCI Global Conference, Kolding 2013.

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TCI2013 Industry clusters: the role of facilitation in supporting knowledge sharing and collaborative innovation

  1. 1. Industry Clusters: the Role of Facilitators in Harnessing the ‘Power of Many’ Julia Connell Academic Summit: Innovation and business models in clusters 4 September 2013
  2. 2. 16th TCI Annual Global Conference, Kolding Denmark Industry Clusters: the Role of Facilitators in Harnessing the ‘Power of Many’ ( Professor Julia Connell, Curtin University Dr Anton Kriz, University of Newcastle and A/Professor Michael Thorpe, Curtin University
  3. 3. 1. Background 2. Clusters and Innovation 3. Cluster Relationships 4. Importance of collaboration and cluster facilitation 5. Conclusion and implications Outline
  4. 4. Paper focuses on networking/clustering and the stimulation of collaborative innovation through knowledge sharing. Case studies and interviews within 4 industry clusters based in two countries – Australia and Dubai. Top-down, hybrid and bottom-up facilitation with clusters to understand knowledge sharing and innovation exchange. Findings show the importance of providing regular opportunities cluster firms to network/generate new ideas. Questions concerned: 1 Approach to cluster development 2 Cluster facilitator role in enhancing knowledge sharing and innovation Background
  5. 5. Mechanisms need to be in place to assist the sharing of information and the mutual exchange of ideas. As such, a range of strategies can support knowledge management and synergies to enhance learning within clusters such as inter- firm support networks and working groups (Medcof, 1997) Co-opetition: Forms of competition and co-operation have led to creation of the term ‘co-opetition’ which is often used by practitioners and researchers alike to refer to the co- existence of both cooperative and competitive behaviours exhibited by industry cluster firm members. Clusters can support innovation
  6. 6. Clusters can provide both hard and soft benfits •Supply chains •Labour pools •Specialised services •R&D and technology •Range of firms •Association •Networking/trust building •Tacit learning •Knowledge spillovers •Informal labour markets Collective vision, planning Innovation Interfirm collaboration Technology transfer, know- how & innovation Career Ladders Competitive advantage Design efficiencies Reduced costs/higher productivity More options/quicker response time Joint ventures, network opportunities Soft Benefits Hard beneifts
  7. 7. Research indicates that social ties, free-flowing communication and levels of trust between the source and recipient are greater when they occur through structured organisational arrangements rather than through ad hoc processes (Bowman & Swart, 2007) Co-working spaces such as Spacecubed have been “designed to support Entrepreneurs and Innovators who want to get their ideas off the ground” (Spacecubed, 2013) Creativity is said to fuel innovation, while innovation manifests creativity in a meaningful and useful manner (McLean 2005, p. 227) Cluster Relationships; Knowledge Sharing, Trust & Innovation
  8. 8. Cluster Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4 Location Hunter, NSW, AustraliaCentral Coast, NSW, Australia Dubai, UAE Dubai, UAE Age of cluster 20 years old in 2012 18 months old 9 years old in 2012 12 years old in 2012 Sector Manufacturing Engineering Manufacturing firms Education/HR knowledge IT Strategy ‘Bottom-up’ ‘Hybrid’ ‘Top-Down’ ‘Top-Down’ Firm members Approx. 200 firms Approx. 200 firms Approx. 450 firms Approx. 1000 firms Cluster Staff 5 dedicated facilitation staff 1 part time manager and 1 part time coordinator 21 managers or facilitators (some support cluster 3 also) 12 managers/facilitators Background to the 4 Clusters
  9. 9. Cluster Activities to support knowledge sharing Cluster 1 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. Cluster 2 Cluster part of broader Federal Government development to improve innovation. Collaboration based on coordinated approach to manufacturing in region. Over 200 firms in cluster facilitated through a hub - Innov8Central and peak bodies Cluster 3 Open-days, speed dating for business, breakfast meetings; shared events/training; market research. Facilitators organise and host series of networking events for knowledge sharing/innovation obtaining sponsorship from firms in the region. Cluster 4 Largest of the four clusters—each facilitator/partnership manager has 6 or 7 buildings to ‘look after’. Events include networking breakfasts, a quarterly event hosted whereby prominent CEOs are invited to present and networking follows, plus a newsletter is circulated on a regular basis. Activities to support knowledge sharing
  10. 10. Cluster 1: 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. Cluster 2: Directed facilitation important at the embryonic stage. Cluster firms reported some reduction in costs and environmental impact. Coming from a low base of inter-connectedness resulted in immediate “ah-ha” knowledge sharing and exchange benefits. Cluster 3: Some major international firms joined the cluster in recent years bringing in more business and potential for knowledge sharing. Several key conferences run with the cluster, raising marketing potential and profile for firms. Cluster 4: Innovation centre created - a technology start-up incubator to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Cluster excellence series featuring industry best practices/generating long-term benefits to the business. Cluster Facilitator/Knowledge Sharing Outcomes
  11. 11. Cluster 1: Collaborative Strategies: • Working together • Sharing information • Building on core competencies • Acquiring new skills • Seeking joint opportunities and demonstrating THE POWER OF MANY
  12. 12. Leadership & vision comes from within the Cluster  Competitive barriers are mindsets  Trust comes from ongoing demonstrated commitment to the Cluster, with sharing of information and joint initiatives Cluster 1 is marketing the Region as well as our members Cluster 1 has an important role in shaping the perceptions of the Region and future investment Cluster 1: Lessons Learned
  13. 13. The ability of business to connect effectively with other organisations is seen as key to contemporary innovation management strategy. Industry clusters, such as those in Dubai, the Hunter and Central Coast of NSW, can increase the attractiveness and effectiveness of cluster environments if they implement the right communication strategies for providing robust knowledge sharing networks and invest appropriately in brand building for the cluster. Regional innovation systems (RIS), network clusters of innovation (NCOI) and open innovation are likely to add significantly to the understanding and effective facilitation of some future areas of research. Conclusion
  14. 14. 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. Conclusion and implications
  15. 15. Thank You! Questions/comments?

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