Projects

Russia and CIS

Kazakhastan flagKazakhstan Competitiveness Program (2004-2005)

ECG is currently partnered with J.E. Austin & Associates on the Kazakhstan Government-sponsored National Competitiveness Program. The project's over arching goal is to increase Kazakhstan's competitive economic growth while reducing reliance on oil and raw materials extraction sector and to develop a sound action plan for sustainably increasing the competitiveness and growth of Kazakhstan's non-extractive sectors.

The project involves identifying industries and market segments, evaluating and selecting market segments and clusters, developing strategic action plans and implementing a skills and knowledge program.

Prof. Michael Porter of Harvard University Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness is serving as the project's Academic Advisor.

For more information about this project, download the pdf

Georgian flagGeorgia Food & Beverage Enterprise Restructuring & Cluster Development Project (2002-04)

ECG, working with the Centre for Enterprise Restructuring and Management Assistance (CERMA), is leading a cluster-based initiative in Georgia to identify and assist five agribusiness sub-sectors with potential for cluster development. Conceived as a way to use competitiveness methods to expand the cost-effectiveness of CERMA's trademark enterprise restructuring projects (ERPs), ECG is working with CERMA's top staff to train them in cluster analysis and strategy development techniques. As CERMA has already formed a number of business associations, including the Hazelnut Grower's Association, the Hazelnut Processor's Association, and Georgian Hardwood Association, working at the cluster level appears to be the next step in expanding CERMA's sectoral impact.

The project leverages ECG's experience with cluster development, CERMA's intimate knowledge of the Georgian economy (and its ability to identify business owners and managers with vision) and DAI's strengths in business development and finding appropriate technical experts.

Following an initial cluster identification phase, the project moved forward at the enterprise level and at the cluster level. At the enterprise level, ECG identified 25 enterprises, performing initial diagnostics and obtaining management approval of an action plan for each enterprise within the first six weeks. At the cluster level, ECG is forming a cluster development strategy for 5 clusters and implementing the resulting action plans. The project allows for benchmarking trips abroad, which serve as a tool to motivate as well as educate business leaders, and includes a substantial training element, with DAI providing agribusiness training for 50 consultants, and ECG providing cluster development trainings and workshops for a variety of CERMA staff and consultants, and cluster stakeholders.

The project has identified tea, hazelnuts and herbal/nutritional supplements as three sub-sectors where cluster potential is high, and has begun implementation in these areas.

Russian flagVolga Region Cluster Pilot Study, Russia (2002-03)

Working in conjunction with the Plenipotentiary to the Russian President for the Volga Region, ECG is designing a pilot cluster project in Perm, a city of 1 million in the Volga River Basin. Following a cluster identification assessment, ECG selected the Furniture and Wood Products Cluster, including logging, sawmills, paper, and plywood producers, as well as producers of wooden furniture. Three cluster meetings have been held, combining enterprise owners and managers, suppliers, bankers and other investors, applied research institutions, government regulators and economic development officials. A series of initiatives involving joint training, marketing, and supply purchasing have been launched, and a benchmarking trip to Finland is being planned for 2003. Relations between industry and the university's Forestry Products Research Center have improved, with a new, more applied research agenda for the Center. Banks have shown more interest in the sector, having gained a better understanding of the market and technology trends affecting the industry.

Client: IREX Partner Program. Duration: Mar 2002 – Jan 2003.

Investment Attraction, Technology Parks, Research Centers and Business Incubators

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