Archive for July, 2005

Polish maritime cluster

July 17, 2005

 In August 2004, the Polish Maritime Network Institute was established within the framework of the Gdansk Science-Technology Foundation.

The aim was to develop a Polish Maritime Cluster. This is a joint venture that also included the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure, the Science-Technical Institute and the Polish Chamber of Maritime Commerce.  The Polish Maritime Cluster is a geographically proximate group of interconnected companies and associated institutions, linked by commonalties and complementaries. The website refers to clusters affecting competition in three ways:
§          increasing productivity of constituent firms or industries.
§          increasing their capacity for innovation.  
§          stimulating new business formation that supports innovation. 

Go to 

(There has been a good level of cooperation over the last year between shipbuilders and super yacht companies in Cairns, Perth and Auckland. You might add Gdansk to your list of contacts – Editor) 

NZ’s regional partnership program – some insights

July 17, 2005

Ann Verboeket of the Economic Development Association of NZ has forwarded some timely insights on how they are approaching regional development. Extract follows.  

NZ has a network of 8 regional councils, 74 territorial local authorities and 70 Economic Development Agencies (EDAs) – latter funded by local authorities, acting as delivery agents for programs.

EDAs were chosen as the natural partners at a regional level – they have the local networks, information sources and business links. Each region was required to develop its own a strategy. NZ was a late starter in regional economic development, but quickly modelled itself on the OECD Partnership Best Practice process. NZ focussed on existing regions with a suite of programs e.g. Cluster Development Program, Regional Polytech Development Fund, Incubator Support Program, Regional Partnership Program (RPP).   

The RPP is administered by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and includes funding for development of the strategy, capability development and Major Regional Initiatives (MRI’s) – once the strategy is developed. A review showed that:
§          early results on practical, region-wide projects are extremely helpful in building credibility. 
§          the capability building component is instrumental in delivering on broader strategy outcomes. 

The MRI process allows regions to develop regionally specific projects that can attract up to $2 million of central government funding – with the region funding a minimum 25%. Key issues underpinning the Regional Partnership Program and MRI process include:
§          Often difficult to shift beyond local and district issues to regional -economic imperatives. 
§          A question mark is raised over the attractiveness of the MRI partnership program to large businesses.  The consultative process for them can be unwieldy, time consuming and expensive.
§          Some regions only need small scale projects to assist them to better integrate with national policies. 

The RPP has forced regions to work together – to think long-term and to integrate sustainable development strategies and build relationships. Currently 26 regional partnerships.  

“Four years later, the suite of programs has changed partnership behaviours. Not least has been an increased knowledge of a region’s strengths and advantages. It has also built a more collaborative approach to projects but has not always resulted in better alignment between business and local government businesses and Maori.  The objectives, time frames, and structures are often irreconcilable”. – Dr. Andrea Schollmann & Dr. Tobias Nischalke “Central Government and Regional Development Policy: Origins, Lessons Learned and Future Challenges” (2005).