Contact Ifor

+64 21 620 456

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams

Clustering: a cornerstone for economic development

CEO, Cluster Navigators Ltd Wellington, 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. Ifor is a frequent speaker on competitiveness, clusters, and local innovation systems.

Ifor's focus has been on the training of economic development professionals

  • in the process of cluster development
  • designing and reviewing cluster development programmes
  • facilitating cluster workshops.

Clients include:

International development agencies

The World BankOECD
United Nations Industrial Development OrganisationCommonwealth Secretariat

National agencies

Industry CanadaScottish Enterprise
Welsh Development AgencyVINNOVA and NUTEK, Sweden
Mauritius' National Productivity and Competitiveness CouncilNew Zealand Trade & Enterprise
Trinidad & Tobago's Tourism and Industrial Development CompanySouth Africa's Tourism Department
Iceland's Industry MinistryGeorgia's Centre for Enterprise Restructuring (CERMA)

Regional/Local Agencies

U.K.SE England Development Agency, Northern Ireland's Centre for Competitiveness
CanadaAtlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
U.S.ALouisiana's Department of Economic Development, Oregon's Department of Agriculture
South AfricaCape Town
AustraliaQueensland's Department of State Development, Brisbane City, Alice Springs, Darwin, Hervey Bay, Logan, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Eden, Gilgandra, Dandenong
New ZealandAuckland, Palmerston North, Horowhenua

Industry Associations

South African Sugar Association; Cape IT Initiative; New Zealand Biotech Association; New Zealand Forest Industries Council; Australian Information Industry Association.

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.

Ifor is a founder and past president of The Competitiveness Institute, an organization headquartered in Barcelona, Spain that focuses on local economic development through a clustering approach. The Institute has members from 38 countries ( He has served as New Zealand Vice President, ANZRSAI (

Ifor is Chairman, Cluster Navigators Australia Pty Ltd, based in Melbourne. He is Welsh, and lived in Canada before making New Zealand home. He now spends over half of each year travelling the world from his base in Wellington, spreading the "cluster gospel".

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