Northwest Florida Industry Cluster Development Strategy | SRI International

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Northwest Florida Industry Cluster Development Strategy

SRI created a comprehensive approach and marketing strategy for target clusters in key economic growth areas.

Florida's Great Northwest (FGNW), a regional economic development organization that represents 16 counties in northwest Florida, commissioned SRI to conduct a broad assessment of the region's economic environment. The goal was to pinpoint high-growth, high-potential areas in which the organization might attract and promote investment.

SRI identified key growth clusters (aerospace and defense, life sciences, transportation and logistics, and renewable energy and environment). Two supporting clusters (research and engineering and information technologies), meanwhile, are strong in their own right and integral to future development of the key clusters.

The SRI study benchmarked northwest Florida’s performance and economic foundations such as its strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis education and workforce, innovation systems, finance and capital, quality of life, policy/regulatory environment, and physical infrastructure. Study authors crafted a comprehensive strategy for developing the target clusters. The strategy was framed by an overarching vision of the desired change anticipated for the region within 10 years, as well as by strategic themes that guide and coordinate the individual cluster initiatives.

Following the development of the cluster strategy, SRI worked with FGNW to create and implement a redefined marketing strategy for the region. SRI designed targeted marketing plans for each cluster to assist FGNW in promoting the clusters to audiences external to the region, and in building understanding of the clusters’ importance within the region. Plans included recommendations regarding positioning, network development, direct marketing, and marketing materials. SRI also implemented part of the strategy, arranging meetings with prospects at tradeshows that included the Medical Device Manufacturers (MDM) East Show (2008), the Farnborough International Air Show (2008), and the Paris Air Show (2009).