Natural Hazards Inc. - Potential Members

Becoming a Natural Hazards Inc. Member

Table of Contents:

Introduction
A Business Cluster - What is it?
A Business Cluster is not...
How does a Business Cluster Work?
Why do We Need a Business Cluster?
Why the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster?
What are the Benefits for Members?
What is the Scope of the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster?
Joining the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster
Conclusion

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Introduction

This memorandum outlines the business cluster concept and our vision for a Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster.

The Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster proposal was developed through several meetings of prospective members from 8 June 2000. The cluster was launched on the 27 November 2000, with 25 member companies/organisations. The concept and vision is outlined here for reference and to provide a focus for the cluster?s strategic developments. Today there are over 30 members.

 

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A Business Cluster - What is it?

There are a number of export focused business clusters that have been established with the support of the Wellington regional councils (WCC) Regional Economic Development Agency. These business clusters cover the fields of: earthquake engineering technology, natural hazards, film & television production, software, creative content (incl. multimedia), e-business, wireless internet applications, and education.

For us, a business cluster simply means a vehicle for local companies who share a similar interest in a given market sector to get together to promote and market their expertise overseas and to spark ideas for generating new business.

The Development Agency describes a business cluster as "A group of firms with close trading relationships or related through workforce skills needs, research, distribution and other infrastructural requirements. This includes core firms, common suppliers and distributors, related training providers and others which provide support for these industries".

 

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A Business Cluster is not...

  • A learned society such as the Society of Accountants or the Royal Society
  • A political lobby group such as the Manufacturers Federation
  • A professional body such as the Medical Association
  • A chamber of commerce
  • A limited liability company
  • A human resources centre
  • A market organisation such as ENNEX
  •  

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    How does a Business Cluster Work?

    A Cluster is made up of members representing companies or organisations with a common interest in developing their international business in a common market area.

    For us, a business cluster simply means a vehicle for local companies who share a similar interest in a given market sector to get together to promote and market their expertise overseas and to spark ideas for generating new business.

    The members elect a Chair and a Co-Chair for a term of 12 months from 1 July to 30 June. The Natural Hazards Inc. Co-Chairs are Hannah Brackley of GNS Science and Greg Szakats of URS New Zealand Ltd, with Neville Ching of NIWA as Treasurer.

    The goal is to promote the cluster members expertise and organisations to targeted international markets. Specifically by collaboratively developing overseas contacts and promoting the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster by:

  • Website (www.naturalhazards.co.nz)
  • A4 pamphlet
  • A limited liability company
  • Profile material
  • How a cluster works depends on the members. The members of the Natural Hazards Inc. and Earthquake Engineering NZ business clusters work closely together, and once specific projects and markets are identified (e.g. World Bank funded projects in Turkey and India, ADB funded projects in India, SOPAC projects in the Pacific, ADB projects in Vietnam and Afghanistan, UNDP, NZAID et al projects in Aceh Nias Indonesia), a Task Group is set up to actively seek business in that market and make expressions of interest. Members who are interested in one market, say Turkey, may not necessarily be interested in another market, say India or the Pacific. Cluster Task Groups offer the flexibility to service a variety of members' needs.

     

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    Why do we need a Business Cluster?

    There are market opportunities that members may not be aware of or may not have pursued because of a lack of resources or the high cost involved. Under the Business Cluster umbrella the combined resources of members can make it possible to turn opportunities into businesses.

     

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    Why the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster?

    Over the years, New Zealand has had its share of natural hazards ranging from floods to cyclones and earthquakes. We have developed not only the technical expertise but also the institutions to deal with them. Basically, we are good at all aspects related to natural hazards: engineering, research, risk assessment, cost evaluation, legal systems and public institutions, disaster management, civil defence etc.

    We would like to build up a world-wide reputation that New Zealand not only has a clean, green and natural environment, but we are also the best in coping with nature's quirks and tempers. Every time there is a natural disaster somewhere in the world, we would like to see the "powers that be" calling New Zealand for help.

    Natural disasters in recent years have caused massive economic disruption and loss of life. International agencies, such as the World Bank, are now focused on the prevention, risk identification and mitigation of natural disasters. They are looking for a totally integrated approach to natural hazards. Thus Natural Hazards Inc. is a very timely response to this market need.

     

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    What are the benefits for members?


    Each member will judge for itself the benefit of joining the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster. For us, the benefits are:

  • Being part of an NZ-Inc umbrella that carries weight among key international decision-makers.
  • Being able to participate in market opportunities with other members that we would not normally be able to pursue on our own.
  • As part of the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster, we will get support from other NZ Government agencies who want to support a NZ-Inc approach.
  • Getting to know other members of the Business Cluster who may need our expertise (and vice versa) for their markets.
  • Discussions at the Business Cluster meetings that spark off ideas for our services that we may not have thought of.
  • Learning from other members (some of whom are our competitors) in working together as a team for mutual benefit.
  • Gaining an international market exposure much wider than we could on our own.
  • Given the fee structure and the benefits, the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster offers "value for money".
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    What is the scope of the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster?

    Members have agreed to focus on natural hazards and not man-made hazards. This is to maximise the competitive advantage of NZ in the natural environment.

    So, if your company is currently offering services related to natural hazards in:

  • Disaster relief
  • Disaster management
  • Engineering mitigation design
  • Risk assessment
  • Economic evaluation
  • Institution strengthening
  • Research
  • Ground deformation and slope stability, weather forecasting and instrumentation
  • etc.
  • You will find the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster a very beneficial vehicle for your business.

     

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    Joining the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster

    To become a member of the Natural Hazards Inc. Business Cluster, you need to fill in our Application Form (Word document) and provide details of your firm with CVs of its key experts you wish to promote. See our website for sample CV formats.

    Your material will be used with that of the other members for promotion of the Cluster through its brochures and website. The website will include links to your company's website and will link CV's in an appropriate context (you can nominate the categories, see our website).

    Alternatively you may wish to be an associate member - promoting your company or organisation only - without supporting CV's. Please note that we are in the process of developing a new updated website with improved search functions for the specialist services and products on offer from Members.

     

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    Conclusion

    As in other businesses, the more exposure you have to the market, the more successful you are likely to be, so we look forward to receiving your membership application so that together we will make Natural Hazards Inc. a success!

     

    Download this memorandum as PDF(267Kb)