Archive for the ‘Austria’ Category

UNIDO work on international JVs

June 18, 2009

The OECD holds centre stage in the West as regards pushing best practice in economic development.

But the United Nations Industry Development Organisation (UNIDO) has been quietly consolidating its reputation as a real player in this field.

Further evidence is provided by its recent publication of “Patterns of Internationalization for Developing Country Enterprises (Alliances and Joint Ventures).”

This UNIDO work argues that foreign direct investment (FDI) and related aspects of MNE activity – subcontracting, original equipment manufacturing (OEM), global value chains, global manufacturing networks, joint ventures – are the key source of technological-economic progress for developing countries.

 Success stories are highlighted in this work – the authors emphasise that successful experiences cannot be simply transplanted. MNEs take their strategic and locational decisions in their stakeholders’ interests, including risk perception, profit expectation, pursuit of market share.

Host countries however have their own values and endowments, cultural/social patterns, and development policy options. And the characteristics of industry competition and factor markets are constantly changing, which adds to the complexity.

 This report is designed to help firms in developing countries to improve their competitive position by linking with foreign partners, leveraging the relationships etc. Particular attention is given to JVs and alliances, including the motivations of the participating enterprises, opportunities for partnerships and their negotiation, implementation and management.

This is of great interest to the Cockatoo Network because it aligns 100% with our objectives. We propose follow-up talks with UNIDO. If you are also interested, please contact us.

Patterns of Internationalization for Developing Country Enterprises (Alliances and Joint Ventures)  Language: English, French, Order No.: ID/436, Price: Euro 30.00 (Go to

EDEN = European Destinations of Excellence (BEST PRACTICE)

October 17, 2008


EC Vice-President Verheugen (Commissioner for Enterprise & Industry) has awarded 20 localities with the title of “best local intangible heritage destination in Europe”. The European Destinations of Excellence awards promote venues where commercial success goes hand in hand with social, cultural and environmental sustainability.

Specific local intangible heritage such as local cuisine, handicrafts, local arts or village life were rewarded. The winners were invited to participate in the European Day of Tourism (7th October in Brussels) and to sign a declaration setting up the Network of EDEN destinations. The 2008 EDEN awards were held in Bordeaux as part of the European Tourism Forum. It included an informal ministerial meeting of EU tourism ministers. The EC says that the improvement of the quality of tourism destinations and services requires coherent action from private and public sectors.

Five examples:

Austria: Steirisches Vulkanland – rich in volcanic formations, thermal water resources, historic sacral & architectural monuments, folk art, and traditions in a characteristic culture of festivals and celebrations.

Belgium: Ath – famous for the Ducasse, a procession of giants, a parade of characters that have been gathering for over 500 years and draws visitors into a charming medieval festival.

Bulgaria: Belogradchik – myths, legends, even traces of ancient Thrace are waiting to be discovered by visitors to this ‘small white town’, situated in the foothills of the Balkans.

Croatia: Đurđevac – orchards, meadows and vineyards. The town’s historical, cultural and traditional heritage is based on the Legend of the Rooster.

Cyprus: Agros – ideal year-round rural destination that has developed its famous rosewater industry and offers unique opportunities to participate in celebrations of local cultural heritage and nature’s beauty.  

Living with Technology

October 15, 2007



Steve F Krar, a Canadian with a lifetime associated with manufacturing is writing a series of articles entitled ‘Living with Technology’ to make the average person in our society aware of the importance of business and industry and the effect they have on a country’s wealth etc.

Krar has written many books on manufacturing processes (go to Google and type in Steve Krar to see the list), in more recent years he has concentrated on Lean principles, waste reduction and productivity improvement. 

The series starts with the strong statement: “Without a strong manufacturing base a country’s standard of living would be similar to people in Asian or African countries. A strong manufacturing base provides its people with a high standard of living while those countries where there is little or no manufacturing base, have a very low standard of living.”

Topics to be covered in the series include Advanced Technology Think Tank; Austria Technical Training; China Five Year Plan; Intel Corporation; Internet University; Measurement – through the Ages; Technology Phobia; The Law of Production (+ art); Manufacturing Leaders; Lean Tools and Principles. 

The articles can be accessed through the web site

Sourced via MUNet 

The semantics of clusters – lessons from Brighton UK

September 18, 2004

Paquita Lamacraft (Cockatoo member) addressed the Creative Industries Conference in Brighton UK in May 2004. She has filed her report.

English is a rich and diverse language. We have several words to denote gradations of nuance in description of a single thing, but other words can mean different things depending on the context. The word “Cluster” fits that category.  

Having worked on cluster development from the practitioner level for 12 years, the truth of this diversity was never more emphatic than at this conference – 300 people attended from 22 countries.

I presented a paper on the development of the Music Industry Strategy in New Orleans. It pulled no punches about the reality of grass roots development. Don’t start if you’re not prepared for the community of interest you are facilitating to take you places you may not have expected to go, and often at an uncomfortably fast pace. 

However what fascinated and at first frustrated me, was the use of the term “Cluster”. It was variously used in such contexts as “Brighton City is an example of a Creative Cluster” or “These buildings make a cluster” or “There are twenty businesses in the region that are in the same sector. This cluster has great potential.“

In this last example, discussions followed about what agencies have done to develop the “cluster” and then would come a query of how to engage the leaders of the relevant industry. Being a writer I get excited about semantics. I had to calm down and agree with myself that each of these uses was quite valid. It just illustrated what happens when a useful mechanism for development becomes a by-word and industry panacea. “Cluster development” has become trendy. Add “Creative” and it’s seriously popular.

What struck many attendees from outside Britain was the huge investment being made within Britain in this Creative Cluster Development focus, and the government funds being invested.  

The question that became a focus for several days was “Does a large government investment always require government-led development plans, or can large investments of government funds be more effectively used to enhance industry-led development?”

The Louisiana State experience suggests that it was possible – they augmented the funds of local Development Boards and fast tracked cluster-led initiatives that required government support, guidance, legislative effort or additional funding or influence.  Apart from this differing focus there were some fascinating presentations:
§          Creative London – wide range of programs with focus on Creative Hubs, Showcasing Support, Export, and local networks.
§          Amsterdam – theme of Creativity is doing well there, so why fix it? They are unashamedly who they are. You don’t need a business plan for the idea to get funding – you need to sell it. Emphasis is more on the individual enterprise or project than on a collaborative cluster development. If you live and work in Amsterdam then you are eligible. This attitude draws talent.
§          Austria discussed a network approach.
§          Port Moody in Canada relayed the movement from Mill Town to Arts Enclave.
§          Rural Montana spoke of their Cultural Corridors Cluster.
§          Kiwis spoke on how they’re using The Lord of the Rings to kickstart broader development.
§          Australia – Brecknock Consulting, Larry Quick & Associates – talked about Brisbane and Adelaide.
§          Taiwan has set aside large funding, and is standing at the diving board wondering which steps to climb to get the best result from their splash.
§          Mexico – a story of cultural destruction by Costco and the grass roots development from local artisans to preserve their heritage.
§          Japan – astute assessment of the measurement of success. 
For people who came to learn about creative clusters, the semantics clouded the question: How do you get industry around the table? One answer is someone putting their ear to the ground, finding the key issues, then getting industry to sit down and examine how, through collaboration, they can address the challenges to mutual benefit. Perhaps labeling things a “cluster” is detrimental to the end result.   

The conference outlined the greatest opportunity for all clusters with a strategic objective – export of talent, skills, product and service. There are real openings for inter-regional export in the UK where there is a whole range of export assistance and a great support infrastructure. Effective collaborative partnerships can tap into this. 


Whatever the ultimate translation of the word “cluster” it doesn’t alter the opportunity for international collaboration in this field.