New Zealand's geography and other compounding factors have long been a handbrake on the economy. Incremental policy responses have not yet generated the change needed to propel Aotearoa into becoming a high-performing society.
Relative to many similar small economies, such as Denmark, Norway and Sweden, New Zealand has been a slow starter in appreciating the importance of clusters for business development and for regional growth.
The Digital Cluster Initiative aims to respond to this deficiency, by supporting Kiwi businesses to collaborate, innovate, and grow, with digital transformation at its core.
Within Europe, 3,000 clusters have been identified.
As the European Commission highlights, these clusters matter. They account for one in four jobs, particularly the better-paying jobs.
International evidence on the importance of clusters is extensive. Quite simply, regions that are home
to dynamic clusters, and the companies that are rooted in such clusters, do better.
Cluster development initiatives are well placed to respond to pressures and new
opportunities, including digitalisation, COVID-19, the circular economy and climate change, technology, and market shifts.
The cluster development approach has been well tested and refined.
Insights supplied in this section by Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, Cluster Navigators Ltd, Nelson.