On the 21 May, Minister of State for Natural Resources, Sean Canney TD, launched 'The Formation and Maintenance of a Successful Business Cluster May 2020' Manual.
The 10 steps for the formation and maintenance of a successful business cluster contained in the manual were developed on foot of a comprehensive examination of the Geoscience Ireland (GI) cluster, a government backed initiative in the Irish geoscience sector which was first established in 2012. The impetus which underpins the evolution of GI was to get companies to collaborate together to win work overseas, thus ensuring their survival and growth and hopefully job creation as they expanded.
The successful evolution of GI has also led to a greater understanding and recognition of geoscience by government as a fundamental element of economic and social development. GI's activities have led to continuous engagement by Geological Survey Ireland and Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment with other government departments (Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) together with involvement with Enterprise Ireland at local and international level. This has led to geoscience being included in government policy to a greater extent as evidenced by the 'Action Plan for Jobs' (2018), the 'Economic Review of the Irish Geoscience Sector' (2017) and current Sectoral Review, and 'Future Jobs' policy by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Commenting on the launch of the manual, Koen Verbruggen, Director of Geological Survey Ireland said;
"There were many lessons learned from the development of Geoscience Ireland; building trust between competing companies; extending the collaboration between government, state agencies and the private sector; strong political and administrative support and the rigorous pursuit of business opportunities by providing accurate market intelligence and contacts are among the skills and competencies grown in Geoscience Ireland."