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Webinar – Clusters driving economic development success

15 May 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Global cluster expert Ifor Ffowcs Williams will provide an introduction to clusters for economic development professionals and will highlight international and Australian best practices. Ifor’s cluster development experience extends to over fifty countries across six continents. His Cluster Development Handbook provides a practical guide to the development of clusters as centre-stage strategies for regional economies.


Ifor Ffowcs Williams

Ifor (E4) was a Founder of TCI, he has served as Chairman of TCI and is now a member of the Board of Advisors.
He is CEO of Cluster Navigators Ltd, New Zealand. Since establishing Cluster Navigators in 1997, Ifor has been active across Europe, North America, Africa, the Caribbean and Australasia in introducing the relevance of clustering as a cornerstone for economic development. The focus has been on the training of economic development professionals in the process of cluster development, reviewing cluster development programmes, and facilitating initial cluster workshops.

Prior to the establishment of Cluster Navigators, Ifor was with the New Zealand Trade Development Board and over a decade encouraged New Zealand’s exporters to move beyond their comfort zones in ‘co-operating to compete’ through participation in soft and hard networks, and clusters.

Dr Nicola Watts

Nicola was the founding executive manager of the East Gippsland Food Cluster – one of Australia’s most successful and enduring food clusters.  She is now the interim CEO of Food & Fibre Gippsland, which is the recent amalgamation of the East Gippsland Food Cluster and Agribusiness Gippsland – ‘the collaborative force, creating opportunities for a prosperous and sustainable Gippsland food & fibre sector’.

Managing change in complex contexts has underpinned Nicola’s career in Australia and across more than 20 countries in the agrifood, natural resource management, ICT and education sectors. She is committed to continuously exploring and improving the collaborative and innovative ways of working that underpin geographic clusters and their smart specialisations, and how clusters facilitate win-win outcomes in terms of productivity, people, prosperity and the planet.


Jacqueline Brinkman

Jacqueline is an economic development / cluster specialist and CEO of Economic Development Australia (EDA), the national peak body for economic development. Jacqueline is one of Australia’s most experienced industry cluster managers and has facilitated industry development and new investment across a range of sectors.

Her advocacy and lobbying has resulted in legislative change at a local, state and federal level. An award-winning copy writer, Jacqueline was recently chief editor on Hammons Holdings’ successful tender to operate Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.

Jacqueline is a skilled MC and workshop facilitator and an experienced company director.


Approx timing Key content
30 mins Ifor Ffowcs-Williams opening

·        What is a cluster … international and Australian examples

·        Clusters as a centre-stage regional development focus

·        Linking innovation precincts, export hubs, clusters & smart specialisations

·        Identifying regional clusters

·        Establishing a Cluster Ignition Team

·        Pitfalls to avoid

15 mins Ifor discussion with Nicola Watts

·        FIAL endorsement & support

·        Describing the cluster …  products, geography, development projects

·        A cluster manager as a regional change agent

5 mins Ifor discussion with Jacqueline Brinkman

·        Cairns Super Yacht cluster

o   Role of the Cluster Chair.

·        Blue Mountains Creative Cluster

o   Why was this cluster selected?

o   What were the early steps?

10 mins Q&A session


Members: Free
Non-Members: $25

Members – Please log in to redeem complimentary member tickets.

PLEASE NOTE:  Timing stated is AEST (Sydney time)

Terms and Conditions

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15 May 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Economic Development Australia


0467 217 997


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