First Grants under Industry Cluster Development Programme announced

  • Jim Anderton
Economic Development

Regions and industries will benefit from Jim Anderton’s announcement today of $562,000 from Industry New Zealand to support twenty industry clusters in a range of key industries.

Industry Clusters including wood processing, film production, organics and software will receive $28,125 each to engage a facilitator. The facilitators will work to share expertise, identify common goals, and develop shared supplier and marketing information so that the individual businesses in the cluster can all prosper.

“By supporting industry clusters, regions and groups of businesses can co-ordinate their strengths and use their combined size to generate increased sales as well as taking advantage of savings,” said Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton.

“I am pleased to see Industry New Zealand has funded clusters in all three key Government innovation industries, biotech, Information and Computer technology and in the creative industries.

“Sixty proposals were received. The funding was allocated to clusters that offered the greatest benefits to their regions and were clearly aligned with their region’s economic development strategy, said Jim Anderton.

Clusters can include universities, CRIs, polytechnics, expert advisers, distributors, retailers and customers linked in a value-adding chain.

The Cluster Development Programme builds on the pilot cluster programme run by Industry New Zealand from January to June this year.

The pilot provided insights into how the development programme should be run and identified the benefits that participants in the pilot experienced. Those benefits included a focused commitment from a cluster facilitator, a catalyst for further action, establishing the credibility of clustering as a tool, and the build up of networks and trust.

Contact:Sam Fisher [press secretary] 021 714209 or 04 4719289

The following clusters have been funded under the Cluster Development Programme:

Kumara Industry Network
To expand the kumara industry in Northland. The cluster includes kumara growers, a distributor, Auckland University, Hort Research and Crop and Food Research. In addition to wanting to expand the land area cultivated, the cluster hopes long term to develop new businesses using the functional properties of kumara - vitamins, fibre, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Contact: Jason Smith (09) 439 8360.

Northland Wood Processing
The impetus from this cluster arose from a survey undertaken earlier this year by the Northland Forestry Development Group of six major wood processing members and growth they were likely to experience. The cluster, which includes 11 companies, has formed to take advantage of the increased opportunities presented by the ‘wall of wood’ to expand the export of processed timber in a profitable and sustainable manner. Contact: John Halse (09) 438 5110.

Northland Marine
To further develop the Northland marine industry. The cluster aims to expand and develop the existing refit services to Tuna and other "Black" boats and ultimately expand into "White boats" by working co-operatively. The cluster includes engineering, interior, electrical, boatbuilding, yacht building and marine coating companies and will link in with the Whangarei Steel and Aluminium ship building pilot cluster. Contact: Brian Roberts (025) 958 308.

Film Auckland
This cluster is a screen production attraction initiative aimed at generating foreign direct investment by attracting internationally financed film projects. The cluster’s beginnings go back to a formal partnership between Auckland City Council, Waitakere City Council and Enterprise Waitakere with the launch of a promotional DVD in September. Commitment from other local authorities in the Auckland region is being sought. Contact: John Wadesworth (09) 387 1855.

Modus Operandi
Modus Operandi specialises in the management, production, marketing, distribution and representation of new and emerging New Zealand fashion designers. The cluster will take 30 new designers and assist in marketing and production. Contact: (09) 309 4008.

Waitakere & Rodney Organics
This cluster forms an integral part of the Waitakere City and Rodney District Councils economic development strategies. The cluster hopes to increase the export opportunities for its member companies and seek partnerships with other organics clusters throughout NZ. Contact: Nicki Wickes (09) 387 1855.

This cluster involves commercial companies as well as research institutes and universities in New Zealand but with strong links to overseas expertise and networks. The cluster aims to research and apply novel intelligent computing technologies principally related to the disabled, aged and educational markets and develop and commercialise products from these new technologies. It then hopes to work collaboratively with international partners both in sourcing, developing and marketing products from these breakthrough technologies. Contact: Chris Mulcare (09) 571 8164.

Waikato Ag Biotech
The Waikato Ag Biotech Cluster aims to provide opportunities to the many industries ancillary to dairying. It aims to increase technology transfer from research and educational institutions to industry, to form a greater number of R&D partnerships between Waikato organisations and to increase the number of co-operative commercial ventures. Contact: Philip Burton (07) 838 6507.

East Coast Timber Processing and Furniture Manufacturing Industries Cluster
This cluster involves sawmillers, wood processors, joiners, furniture manufacturers and Tairawhiti Polytechnic. There are significant opportunities for using a cluster to expand the small scale, high value East Coast forestry sector. The cluster hopes to facilitate growth in small to medium wood processing businesses both with increased ‘regional’ exports to the Wellington and Auckland markets, as well as offshore opportunities. Contact: Peter Farley (06) 863 3062

Wools of Aotearoa
The Wools of Aotearoa cluster in the central North Island represents the marketing interests of a group of wool growers including private farmers and Maori Trusts and Incorporations. The group want to leverage collective volume and secure long term, sustainable export opportunities for its members. Mavis Mullins (0274) 578 960.

Wood Hawke's Bay
Wood Hawke's Bay is a cluster of some 70+ firms either located within Hawke's Bay or connected to the region through relationships with regional firms. It has as its focus to increase the export volume and value of value-added timber products, made predominantly from radiata pine. The cluster wants to improve its competitive advantage of secondary value-added wood processing for export markets. Contact: Ron Dragt (06) 974 8936.

Oil and Gas Technologies
This cluster aims to actively promote Taranaki/NZ oil & gas technologies nationally and internationally, to maximise the local content of NZ based exploration and development work,and to enhance capability of oil/gas support industry/technologies. Contact: Anne Probert (06)759 5155.

Kapiti Horowhenua Apparel and Textile
This cluster comprises 21 members with a core of around 15 companies involved in textiles, apparel, carpet and footwear. The cluster wants to focus on joint marketing initiatives, training and skills development and strategic activities. It aims to complete a new strategic plan, cluster capability document and web portal as well as develop a training and skills programme and hard export development targets based on joint venture marketing. Contact: Tony Rush (06) 367-0524.

Wellington Creative Manufacturing
There are potentially 150 companies involved in this cluster which aims to develop the Wellington region as a centre of engineering excellence, including a centre of design-led manufacturing excellence. One of the key elements for the cluster will be working with WelTec and the Rapid Prototyping Facility already established and how to build this facility into a centre of excellence. Contact: Blair McRae or Ron Daly (04) 494 2555

Nelson Marlborough Seafood Cluster
The cluster aims to enhance the region’s global position in deep sea fishing and aquaculture through value adding via research and education. In addition to the major seafood companies operating out of Nelson, it involves the Cawthron Institute, Otago and Canterbury Universities, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and Marlborough aquaculture companies. Contact: Peter Robins (03) 546 9175.

Canterbury Software
The cluster comprises mainly small software companies in Christchurch that are looking to expand their market through collaboration. The cluster aims to help its members access capital, access mentoring and increased knowledge and links to marketing opportunities. It also hopes to build on an already proactive tech community with events. Contact:Keith Cowan (03) 358 0102 or Danniel Olykan (03) 353 6862.

Aoraki South Canterbury Functional Foods
This cluster aims to set a high standard of commercial focus with an opportunity to participate in the $100 billion+ world-market for functional foods. Turning commodity 'good food' into 'particularly healthy food' will deliver potentially higher returns for growers, suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. Contact: Mark Rawson (03) 688 9907.

A combination of over 50 companies and organisations including CRIs, the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Biotech service providers make up this cluster. The cluster aims to create effective networks, a strong science base in the region and an entrepreneurial culture within the biotechnology community. It has the strong support of Dunedin City Council. Contact: Peter Harris (03) 474 3463.

Otago Southland Forestry
The forest products group (OSFPG) represents leading industry, government and community groups, each of the main forest growing and wood processing operations and key service suppliers to the industry in the lower South Island. Its aim is to build on progress through regional branding; logistics efficiencies; address skills shortages and improve the attractiveness of the industry as a career choice. Contact: Brent Apthorp (03) 471 0313.

The Lincoln Resource
This cluster aims to develop international leadership in the sustainable use of natural resources with the specific goal of enhancing business development through the creation of a more collaborative environment. It involves CRIs, Lincoln University and various research organisations. Contact: Bob Wynn-Williams (03) 325-6621.

Editor’s Note

Industry New Zealand is the national economic development agency responsible for building a portfolio of world class businesses in New Zealand. Other support it provides for clusters includes the cluster builders manual, training for cluster facilitators and a cluster conference planned for early April 2003.

In addition to the 20 clusters funded under the Cluster Development Programme, eight national clusters have recently received funding to engage a facilitator through other Industry New Zealand programmes. They are:

Boatbuilding Standards
This is a cluster of eight boatbuilders of launches/yachts of 8.0 metres upward in length that have agreed to build boats that conform to a set of owner-focussed build quality assurance rules. Contact: Ian Morrison (09) 376 1863

NZ Agritech
The cluster aims to increase export sales growth for companies in NZ Agritech’s agricultural technology sector. NZ Agritech has formed a close working relationship with The American Farm Trust (AFT) in the USA as the AFT is keen to adopt New Zealand technology to improve the efficiency and cost structure for hundreds of small/medium sized dairy farmers within America.
Negotiations are underway for AFT to provide the Agritech cluster with a farm and dairy in Pennsylvania, and the cluster will provide a NZ share milker and NZ agricultural equipment, dairy bull semen, machinery, electric fences and consultancy advice. The demonstration farm will act as a selling point for NZ Agritech members and encourage more USA dairy farmers to adapt and adopt appropriate New Zealand farming practices. The AFT is linked to an agricultural university, farm consultants and decision makers on pastoral farming. Contact: John Wilson (09) 5206 999

New Zealand Health IT cluster
This cluster is an industry grouping of New Zealand-based health Software Developers, Universities and healthcare providers, aimed at increasing market opportunities for local and international export sales, providing end users with integrated solutions and providing mutual support for business development. Contact: Gavin Wright (03) 365 2266

Maori Aquaculture
The cluster plans to bring together new and established Maori aquaculture farmers to share information, experience, and training, create economies of scale and engage in trading activities. Contact: Tom Manaena (04) 495 1132.

Fashion Industry New Zealand
This cluster, currently with 92 members, is the representative and developmental organisation dedicated to the collective identification, discussion and action on issues specific to the fashion industry. Contact: Paul Blomfield (021) 970 871

Furnz Ltd
This cluster was set up three years ago to develop opportunities in the USA for New Zealand furniture manufacturers. The cluster is today operating in USA, and in the early stages of distribution development as a cluster in Australia and Europe. Contact: Maree Blair (09) 528 9030.

Golf Tourism
The cluster aims to develop golf tourism by positioning the New Zealand golf experience more firmly for international markets. It involves resort golf courses, championship/country courses, and the New Zealand Golf Assn. The Professional Golfers Association of NZ and the New Zealand Tourism industry on and offshore will also participate in the cluster. Contact: Geoff Burns (025) 582 832

Bulb Exporters of NZ (BENZ)
BENZ has seven shareholder bulb companies that work cooperatively to service markets. The companies are spread from Auckland to Southland and produce 90 per cent of New Zealand’s bulbs. The bulb growers provide ‘out of season’ product, especially to Japan and Holland. The cluster plans to take advantage of significant growth opportunities. Contact: Phillip Van Eeden (03) 215 7836