Business Clusters and Regional Development: Fact or Fashion?

Where: Tricentia Academy, Arnold's Cove
When: Thursday, March 15th, 2012, 7-9pm


It's the best of times and the worst of times! Some industries are restructuring and fewer jobs are available. Other industries are experiencing major developments and they can't find enough eople with the right education and skills for what they need. Infrastructure requirements, transportation needs, opportunities for supplies and services, are all affected by these changes.

Private, public and community-based organizations in these communities and regions need to grapple with the complex and sometimes conflicting challenges and opportunities.

This session will provide a way of understanding regional development and how businesses and communities need to collaborate to succeed. It will also demonstrate a new on-line tool, the Regional Economic Capacity Index. to highlight interactions between communities and how an understanding of their relative strengths will enhance the chances for all to succeed.

Alvin Simms, Ph.D.:
A geographer who utilizes GIS, and spatial analysis to examine regional economic development and planning issues. In addition, he also uses geo-statistics and AI/Expert Systems to develop intelligent spatial decision support systems (ISDSS) for regional planning and development. His undergraduate studies were competed in quantitative Economic Geography at Memorial University. Graduate studies, with a focus on quantitative methods, GIS and spatial analysis, were completed at the University of Calgary. He is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Geography, Memorial University, Cross Appointed to the Faculty of Medicine’s Community Health and Adjunct Professor at the Dept. of Agricultural and Rural Economics, University of Kentucky. He has also acted as consultant for provincial and federal governments, industry and provincial health organizations to advise on and study regional economic development as well as health service related issues.

Robert Greenwood, Ph.D. Executive Director, Office of Engagement and The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is leading the development of an Engagement Framework for the University, which will coordinate and support the University’s collaboration with partners and stakeholders. The Harris Centre’s mandate is to coordinate and facilitate Memorial University’s educational, research and outreach activities in the areas of regional policy and development.

Rob has operated his own consulting business and has served as a Director and Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy in Economic Development departments in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Saskatchewan. He was Vice President, Corporate Development, Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan, and was founding Director of the Sustainable Communities Initiative, a partnership of the University of Regina, the City of Regina, and the National Research Council of Canada.

Rob holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Business Studies from the University of Warwick, England, which he attended as a Commonwealth Scholar and an Institute of Social and Economic Research Doctoral Fellow. He was Newfoundland’s representative on the International Advisory Board of the North Atlantic Islands Program and co-edited Competing Strategies of Socio-Economic Development for Small Islands, published in 1998. He was also co-editor of Remote Control: Lessons in Governance for and from Small, Insular and Remote Regions, published in 2009. He has taught, consulted, published and presented extensively on community economic and regional development, strategic economic planning, sectoral and cluster development and knowledge mobilization.


The Harris Centre

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000