Water Journal : Water Journal September 2011
wateraustralia update 8 SEPTEMBER 2011 water regular features waterAUSTRALIA has been awarded a two-year funding agreement by the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to establish and coordinate up to five water industry capability teams as a key initiative of the Water Supplier Advocate. The purpose of these teams is to cluster companies with complementary products and services to form strategies that will promote collective capabilities to new customer groups. The teams are industry-driven, chaired by industry members, and will pursue opportunities that member companies see value in striving for as a group. Whether domestic or international, companies can hunt in packs to access opportunities as a part of this initiative. In addition to other activities to help the development of the sector, these endeavours are delivered by waterAUSTRALIA with the support of the Water Supplier Advocate, Austrade, Enterprise Connect and Industry Capability Network. Collaborative Opportunities Well-organised clusters with committed members work. They serve to enhance collective knowledge and capability -- and all at a relatively low cost and sacrifice of time. For SMEs, in particular, they can provide a valuable network. SMEs sometimes find it difficult to verify information with trusted sources or even to access information about markets and operations of relevance to them. Larger companies too stand to benefit. The more they know and understand about the capabilities of the SMEs, the better placed they are to provide their customers with innovative and competitive solutions. Apart from any other benefits, the capability teams will provide the opportunity for peers to get to know one another and collaborate. Collaboration allows companies to access more markets and customers and to be involved in a wider range of projects, while not straying out of their core business. Collaboration depends on forming relationships with companies that have compatible ambitions, complementary capabilities and ethical business practices. They require mutual respect and trust and can be invaluable in helping companies develop. I believe there is tremendous scope for SMEs in the Australian water industry to grow through collaboration. Capability Categories The categories for the capability teams will be based on interest from companies and could possibly include water recovery, reuse and treatment; irrigation; mains water; environmental services; and water-related IT. To take a possible water recovery team, just as an example, it may be that members decide to promote their capabilities to the resources sector. This is a diverse and disparate sector, more often than not remotely located. Any one company, particularly an SME, would find the business development costs quite high; the team as a whole, however, with support under this Project, develops good capability collateral and conducts an effective promotional campaign. waterAUSTRALIA would provide branding support. There will be other potential benefits of joining a team and it may be that companies may find it appropriate to join more than one. As the capability teams roll out over the next two to three months, you will be invited to participate in a national series of workshops where we will provide more information as to the likely categories for the teams, the range of activities that are envisaged, the management structure and how to join. Each team will be chaired by members to ensure that the initiatives that are adopted are industry-driven. For anyone wishing to express interest in the meantime, please drop me a line at: email@example.com Plans to Establish Industry Capability Teams Les Targ -- CEO, waterAustralia Collaboration provides new opportunities for growth.
Water Journal November 2011
Water Journal August 2011