Who We Are

Since establishing Cluster Navigators in 1997, Ifor's focus has been on the practicalities of cluster development.  He leads strategy workshops around the world with economic development agencies, cluster groups and support organisations.  Ifor is a frequent speaker on competitiveness, clusters and innovation.

Participants from 50 countries have attended training workshops on the Twelve Step process he has developed.  Clients include The World Bank, UNDP, European Union, international aid agencies and national/regional economic development agencies.  He has been described as 'one of the most influential cluster practitioners in the world'.

Ifor is a founder and Past President of The Competitiveness Institute.  TCI is the leading global network for practitioners, policy makers and business leaders addression regional competitiveness.  Ifor is Welsh.  He lived in Canada before making New Zealand home.

What We Do

Cluster Navigators Ltd are a niche economic development consultancy, taking a cluster approach to the nurturing and upgrading of competitiveness agendas.

We support economic development agencies in developing the competitiveness of their regions. Our starting point is the cluster framework developed by Prof. Michael E Porter. 

Our activities are global.  From our location in New Zealand we service clients on five continents. Our support centers on introducing relevance:  

  • We introduce the relevance of clustering as a cornerstone for economic development.
  • We lead Ministerial, Council and Board level presentations.

Designing cluster interventions: 

  • We support aid donors, national and local economic development  agencies in the design of clustering interventions.

Cluster training: 

  • We train cluster facilitators and support organisations. Our interactive training focuses firstly on the relevance and secondly the process of cluster development, and is supported by a comprehensive Cluster Development Handbook.

Cluster Weeks: 

  • Cluster Navigators support the introduction of cluster development programmes with public presentations, briefings to politicians and government agencies, media briefings and initial workshops with cluster groups.  These activities can be combined with training workshop into a ‘Cluster Week’. 

Supporting economic development agencies: 

  • We support, not replace, agencies in establishing clustering initiatives. This includes cluster identification and prioritisation for engagement; cluster analysis; leading initial cluster workshops; and building cluster leadership groups.
  • We facilitate the engagement of communities and businesses in the cluster development process.

Reviewing and auditing clustering initiatives: 

  • We assist in reviewing established clustering programmes, and supporting the ongoing upgrading of those programmes through facilitating workshops and offering hands-on support to the sponsoring economic development agency and the cluster’s Leadership Group.

‘Five Phases, Twelve Steps’:  

  • Our practical approach places emphasis on taking a cluster to collaborative action in a short time frame, based on a solid strategic understanding.

Meet the Team

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams 

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams is the CEO and founder of Cluster Navigators.
Prior to establishing Cluster Navigators in 1997 Ifor was the General Manager, Strategic Development Unit of Trade NZ. Under the umbrella theme of "Cooperating to Compete" Ifor introduced the Joint Action Group (JAG) and the Hard Business Network (HBN) Programmes and the New Zealand cluster development initiative. 

Phone +64 3 548 0606 e4@clusternavigators.com

Jennifer Phillipps

Jennifer is our General Manager. Her skills and experience are crucial to the smooth running of the organisation.  Jennifer can be contacted regarding items on the website at:  jennie@clusternavigators.com