23rd Sept 2011. The Australian Business Foundation with support from Macquarie University and NSW Trade and Investment, has released an updated research piece on successful industry clustering in Australia. The study focused on the Northern Sydney Technology Corridor.
“Look at the big glass boxes on Waterloo Road,” says author Roy Green. “That’s really what it is — a row of glass boxes. People drive to their office, park in the company car park, have a coffee in their own cafeteria, go to their desk and call New York, Seattle, or Berlin, do a day’s work, then go back to their car and drive home. At no time do they interact with anyone else on Waterloo Road or at the university, which is only a stroll away. All the glass boxes on Waterloo Road are productive enterprises, and they add value to the NSW economy, but they exist largely for sales and marketing. If you care about Australia’s propensity for innovation, it’s a depressing picture.
The results are intended to contribute to Australian government planning and policy by providing an account of the attractors for businesses to a region, and of the opportunities for growth and the sustainable development of regions through clustering activities.
The study left its authors to conclude that whilst the Northern Sydney Technology Corridor is not an industry cluster, it is slightly more than an agglomeration. It is a nascent cluster with potential:
1. A vibrant local market but minimal business interaction
2. Innovative businesses that tend to stand alone
3. Educated workforce with limited research linkages
4. A nascent clustering with potential for impact
The aim of the Northern Sydney Global Technology Corridor Clustering study was to determine whether businesses in two prominent high technology sectors of northern Sydney are operating as industry clusters, exhibit some limited evidence of clustering or are only an agglomeration of businesses in the same industry in a single geographical location. A further aim was to provide a sound empirical basis for policy intervention to facilitate clustering and to maximise its economic impact.