Clustering for Growth – Cluster Musters

  • Global Cluster Expert in Geraldton to meet with businesses
  • Aim is Growing the Pie for the region
  • Focus on Horticulture; Wind and Wave and Marine Services

International clustering expert Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, CEO from Cluster Navigators Limited will be in Geraldton for a series of follow up meetings with local businesses to continue with cluster development in the Mid West on June 8, 9 and 10.

Mr Ffowcs-Williams previously visited Geraldton earlier this year to explore possible cluster development approaches for horticulture, adventure and experiential tourism (Wind and Wave) and marine services. Since then, more businesses have been communicated with and the response has been overwhelmingly positive with several ideas put forward where collaboration could hold the key to "growing the pie" for the Region. 

The project, led by local business identity Todd West (Glassco) and Trish Palmonari (Mid West Development Commission), is part of the Mid West Regional Blueprint and Growing Greater Geraldton, a partnership project by the City of Greater Geraldton, Mid West Development Commission and the Department of Regional Development, as part of the Government's regional centre development program. 

According to Todd West – Clustering is a “coalition of the willing”.

“Whilst the opportunities are apparent, the missing ingredient for such collaboration is often the "glue" - who has the time or resources on top of their day jobs to organise meetings, facilitate the agreements, do the research and manage the initiatives?” Mr West explains.

“That is where the public sector can play a useful role. The business leaders just focus on what they are best at and what will help their cluster grow. 

“This is a proven methodology for business-led growth, with public sector in support. Academia (research and education) completes the "triple helix". 

“Following the exploratory meetings in April, the Greater Geraldton Growth Plan Partnership met to assess the potential of the cluster development approach and expressed wholehearted support for offering this approach to the development of a Horticulture, Marine Services and Wind and Wave (adventure and experiential tourism) cluster. 

“This means that a highly capable facilitator will be available to work with the group to assess and agree the areas to focus on, starting with the "low hanging fruit". There will also be some seed funding to enable those early initiatives to get up and running quickly and produce results. 

“We are fortunate that Ifor Ffowcs-Williams will be in WA in mid-June. We are making the most of this opportunity by holding a series of "cluster musters" to ignite the cluster developments. The musters will review the information we have about the growth potential and identify the priority areas to pursue.

“We are looking forward to seeing as many businesses there as we can. We know that other regions in the world have achieved impressive results that in today's global economy just couldn't be achieved without a structured approach to collaboration - we are excited by what this approach could deliver for us here,” Mr West said.

For further information about the Cluster Musters contact Trish Palmonari on 0428 210 712.