Cluster Development Master Class


Cluster development is recognised internationally as a core approach to upgrading competitiveness and building an innovative economy. Some 75 countries around the world now have cluster programmes in place, with a focus on engagement at the local level.

Active cluster development requires hands-on facilitation, ideally from trained cluster facilitators. In response to this need, Cluster Navigators has developed an interactive cluster training course to introduce the process of cluster development and to equip facilitators with the necessary skills. These training courses have been presented worldwide and are based on a systematic Five Phase, Twelve Step process. The process centres on quickly moving into action on key issues.

Target Audience

As successful cluster development requires a whole-of-government approach, it is preferrable to have both the front line facilitators and the members of their 'support crew' present at the training. Participants at recent training workshops have included:

  • Current and potential cluster facilitators;
  • Other economic development professionals working at the national and the local/community level;
  • Representatives from technology transfer, investment attraction, education/skills development and export development agencies;
  • Policy managers from multilateral, national and regional agencies;
  • Private sector representatives: Chambers of Commerce; industry associations; private sector CEOs;
  • Academic representatives: University and polytechnic business liaison/technology support managers;
  • Trade union officials; donor and NGO representatives; and
  • Independent consultants and economists.

Learning Objectives

The training workshop introduces the relevance of clusters in today's global environment, with an emphasis on the practicalities of implementing a cluster development initiative and the role of Cluster Facilitators (sometimes called Cluster Managers or Process Leaders). Following the course, the trained facilitators should be ready to engage with priority clusters.

Programme Outline

Day 1

  • Workshop objectives; Participants' introductions
  • Clusters: What & Why:
    • The logic for engaging in cluster-based economic-development Cluster development process: The How
    • Introduction to the Five Phases, Twelve Steps in developing a cluster
    • International cluster examples - Case study on Cluster Development: The Case of Estonia (2 hours)
  • Cluster development process:
    • Step 1: Introducing relevance
    • Step 2: Identifying, prioritising clusters for early engagement
    • Step 3: Initial cluster analysis
    • Step 4: Leadership group formation
    • Step 5: Developing the preferred future

Day 2

  • Cluster development process, Final Steps:
    • Step 6: Identifying the stepping stones
    • Step 7: Short term, tactical agenda
    • Step 8: Launching, formalising the cluster
    • Step 9: In depth analysis, benchmarking
    • Step 10: Long term, strategic agenda
    • Step 11: Linking the cluster
    • Step 12: Review, evaluation
  • Case Study - (UWI) Mobilising for cluster development: The Case of the Energy Cluster of Trinidad and Tobago
    • Whole-of-Government support
alternative forms of collaboration within the clusters:
      • Linking clusters and value chains
      • Collaborative value chain concept
      • Hard and soft networks

Day 3

  • Roundtable discussion: What are the attributes of a high performing cluster facilitator?
  • Case Study - Initiating a cluster programme
    • Introduction to the Sun Valley Case Study
This is a roundtable project with each team analysing the current situation and then designing the programme to engage with the Sun Valley cluster. Presentations from each team will be made, with commentary from Cluster Navigators.
    • Concluding discussions, next step
  • Wrap-up, evaluation & certificates

Facilitator: Mr. Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, Mr. Richard Ramsawak, Professor Miguel Carrillo 

Mr. Ifor Ffowcs-Williams

Mr. Ifor Ffowcs-WilliamsIfor is active globally in introducing clustering as a cornerstone for economic development. Ifor is a frequent speaker on competitiveness, clusters, ecosystems and innovation and has been described as 'one of the most influential cluster practitioners in the world'.

Ifor's focus is on the practicalities of cluster development and smart specialisation. Ifor designs and reviews competitiveness and cluster development programmes and leads strategy workshops around the world with economic development agencies, cluster groups and support organisations including universities. Ifor has trained economic development professionals in 45 countries.

Ifor is a Founder, Past President and Member of the Board of Advisors of The Competitiveness Institute (Barcelona). TCI is the leading global network for practitioners, policy makers, researchers and business leaders working towards improving competitiveness in regions. He is on the Advisory Boards of the Danish Cluster Academy, the European Cluster Observatory, the Indian Institute for Competitiveness and the Pan African Competitiveness Council. At home base in New Zealand, Ifor is a Trustee of the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency.

Clients include The World Bank, IFC, UNDP, international aid agencies and national & regional economic development/innovation agencies throughout Europe, North America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr. Richard Ramsawak

Richard RamsawakMr. Richard Ramsawak is Programme Director for Master of Port Management Programmes at the Lok Jack GSB. Mr. Ramsawak has significant experience designing and implementing various private sector development initiatives domestically and internationally. He has coordinated the development of national strategic plans for the Food and Beverage, Seafood and Maritime Industries of Trinidad and Tobago. He also the planned and executed the First Regional Forum on Cluster Development which was held last year in Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Ramsawak was former Vice Chairman of the Cabinet Appointed Food and Beverage Industry Development Committee and Director of the Seafood Industry Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

He is an Affiliate Member of the "Microeconomics of Competitiveness Network" of the Institute of Competitiveness, Harvard Business School and the International Association of Maritime Economist (IAME), as well as Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Economics Association.

Professor Miguel Carrillo

Professor Miguel CarrilloProfessor Miguel Carrillo has vast experience in academia and industry, with his main areas of focus being innovation and strategy. He has had a distinguished career spanning over 21 years in 12 different countries and three languages. He has held the positions of Strategy Professor, Western New England College, Massachusetts and Dean of the School of Business, Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITEC), Mexico.

He was Director of the Miami Campus at Adolfo Ibanez School of Management, Florida, and before that was Head of the Innovation Centre and Professor at Midwestern State University, Wichita, Texas. He has also consulted with McKinsey Management Consulting firm and was Finance Director at Hewlett Packard (Mexico). In June 2009, he was appointed Executive Director of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.


Date View Event Calendar
Time 8:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Duration 3 Days
Cost TT $5,500.00 (inclusive of training materials, refreshments and Certificate of Participation) 
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice.
Venue Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business
Max Richards Drive,
Uriah Butler Highway, North West,
Mt. Hope


Tel: 645-6700
Fax: 662-1411


Brent Cassim - ext. 330
Anastasia Mohammed - ext. 328



Certificates will only be issued to participants who have attained a minimum attendance rate of 75% for the duration of the course.

Course Cancellation/ Reschedule Policy

Arthur Lok Jack GSB (ALJGSB) reserves the right to cancel training at any time. If ALJGSB cancels the training due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of ALJGSB, you are entitled to a full refund of the course fee, or your course fee can be credited toward a future training, based upon availability (providing payments have been made before original advertised date).

ALJGSB reserves the right to reschedule training at any time. If ALJGSB reschedules training due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of ALJGSB, the training will take place at the next available time. Participants will be informed via phone and/or e-mails.



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