Clusters are collaboration focused networks that join SME, Big Business, research organisations and academia, government and public bodies, and finance, within a sector specialisation that is regionally expressed. Examples are ICT in Silicon Valley, Financial Services in the City of London, Oil & Gas Engineering in Houston, and Mining Services in Western Australia.
The Internet of Things (IoT) Cluster Mining & Energy Resources has been established in Adelaide as a result of South Australian Government (SAG) financial assistance, and the proposal of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) to provide management of the Cluster. The SAG has established a multi-cluster program housed within the Department of State Development (DSD). Clusters have been shown to provide; higher employment growth, increased numbers of businesses, increased numbers of patents, and increased levels of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Successful clustering initiatives are driven by the private sector, with government and public bodies providing a key facilitation role, particularly during the establishment phase. The SAG supports cluster programs in six key industries; Defence, Creative Industries, Clean Technologies, Health and Medical Devices, Mining and Resources, and Food and Wine. Support is driven from the Cluster Coordination Office.
Focus areas for the Cluster are; Monitoring & Optimisation, Safety Systems, Geological Systems, and Site-wide operating systems, with a Cluster Action Team focussing upon each area. Further areas of interest to the program are; Interoperability, Networking & Communications, Sensor Devices, and Platforms.
The Cluster is a member-led, market driven organisation, for the purpose of furthering and developing the industry, market and member firms. It is an independent and self-sustaining organisation that actively pursues innovation and export opportunities, and is comprised of; ICT firms, research organisations, Mining & Energy Resource Sector players, public and industry bodies, and finance and support organisations. The intent of the cluster is development, production and marketing of specialist digital solutions in national and international markets.
Value for member firms is derived in six main areas
Networking strength & joint product and opportunity development, from a research and technology standpoint
Market research and information access
Independently commissioned research, sharing of market insights and information, community (user) strength leveraging knowledge of the entire network
Marketing Planning, and opportunity establishment
Sourcing of projects and opportunities, the ability to market and sell and collaboration with other cluster members, providing an entire end-user solution from a group of members that each bring a unique capability
Business systems and services
Training & Education
The Cluster began operations at the start of 2016, with a period of research and recruitment culminating in a public forum in Adelaide in April 2016. This initial forum focused upon introducing the Cluster to interested parties, and informing of the potential that the Internet of Things has to positively impact the Mining & Energy Resource sectors, through specific examples of technologies applied in other industries.
This initial meeting was followed by a second forum in July 2016, which placed focus directly onto the Mining & Energy Resource sectors, introducing their operations, challenges and opportunities to members within the Digital Technology supply chain. Research presented at this forum demonstrated the majority of opportunity value created by IoT technologies would be on the demand-side, and key opportunities were focussed in the areas of Monitoring & Optimisation, Safety Systems, Geological Systems, and Site Operating Systems.
On the back of this research the Cluster has launched four Cluster Action Teams, each one being focussed on one of the key opportunity areas. The Cluster Action Teams are each charged with plotting a strategic course for the development of their assigned opportunity; this is following key points and areas to develop new technologies, knowledge and opportunities.