Burnie City Council (Tasmania)

Tasmania is facing significant economic structural adjustment challenges at present. David Admans, with the Innovative Regions Centre Facilitator for Northern Tasmania and other Enterprise Connect staff from the Tasmanian State Office have been engaged in supporting State and Local Government agencies to ass assist Tasmanian enterprises adjust to the changing business environment. A key element of this work has been to build an understanding among Tasmanian enterprises of the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship as a foundation for building global business competitiveness.

An example of this type of activity involving Professor Hindle and David Admans (as Director of the Innovative Regions Centre) applying the Hindle Bridge Diagnostic to assist a region better understand what they needed to do to deal with the industry structural adjustment which was occurring. Three industry sectors based in the Burnie Local Government area were selected.

The three sectors chosen were: heavy engineering (which needed to diversify due to a reliance on a single multinational machinery manufacturer), food processing supply chain (to address a significant shortage of raw materials for goats cheese making) and forestry products (due to higher environmental standards and reduced demand for plantation woodchips, new forestry products where required to assist the sector adjust and maintain employment and production).

This project involved a program of two workshops with pre, between workshops and post workshop project activity. This project demonstrated to participants the skills required to prepare a Proposed Entrepreneurship Project (PEP), the Diagnostic process using the Hindle Bridge methodology, and the screening of entrepreneurial opportunities. Key outcomes where: a realisation by the Heavy Manufacturing group that they needed to better collaborate on developing new markets and modernise their internal manufacturing processes to better reflect the requirements of the global market; the food processing team led by a large international milk processor developed a marketing strategy/business model to assist new goat’s milk producers establish in the region and the forest products team further refined a new product commercialisation strategy. The execution of the opportunities arising from the project was a matter for the teams. They are still working through the issues identified through Professor Hindle’s workshops.

The outcomes for participants in these workshops included an improved understanding of the capacity that is required for their industry sector to become more globally competitive and able to adjust to changing market requirements and a better understanding of systematic entrepreneurial processes.