Innovation in the Desert: The Outback Business Network and Models from Other Regions

  • Mike Crowe
  • Brian Webber


This chapter explores innovation in economic development as it applies to desert regions. The material is presented in two parts: firstly, it describes the operations of Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA), a statutory corporation established to explore economic development opportunities for Australia’s desert regions. The second section uses a case study focus to examine one of DKA’s particularly successful programmes, the Outback Business Networks. This includes a reflection on how the Outback Business Networks project compares to generally recognized examples of best practice internationally, including examples of rural cluster best practice and international benchmarking studies.


Desert Region Creative Industry Cluster Development Virtual Cluster Business Collaboration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Additional Resources

  1. Commonwealth of Australia. (2010). Geoscience Australia
  2. Crowe, M. (2011) Outback business networks: Lessons learned and the way forward in connecting small business across outback Australia. Panel: Rural Cluster Development at the Edge TCI Conference 2011, Auckland.Google Scholar
  3. Desert Knowledge Australia Strategic Plan 2008–2011.
  4. Saican Consultants Inc, Strategy Analysis International. (2011). DKA-OBN benchmarking study Canada 2011.

Nordic – German – Poland Cluster Benchmarking 2

  1. Clusters Are Individuals – Creating Economic Growth through Cluster Policies for Cluster Management Excellence July 2011 (

Baltic Sea Region Cluster Cooperation

  1. Creating links in the Baltic Sea Region by cluster cooperation (BSR InnoNet.Vinnova. April 2010 –
  2. Strategic Evaluation of the Baltic Sea Region Programme (

Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster (OMIC)

  1. Website of Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster Council (
  2. Doyletech Corp. Northern Ontario Mining Supply and Services Study Executive Summary prepared for Ontario North Economic Development Corporation (ONEDC). April 2010 (Available at:
  3. Catalyzing the Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster: Lessons Learned. Kevin Costante, Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. International Northern Partnerships Conference, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, 2009 (Available at:

3rd International Rural Cluster Conference

  1. Selected extracts from papers presented at the 3rd International Rural Cluster Conference, organized by RegX – the Danish Cluster Academy, Bornholm, Denmark. September 1–2 2009
  2. Rosenfeld, Stuart. Identifying Clusters in Less Populated Regions. Third International Cluster Conference Bornholm, Denmark 1–2 September, 2009. (Available at
  3. Generating Local Wealth, Opportunity, and Sustainability through Rural Clusters. Volume I & II (Compendium). Regional Technology Strategies, Inc., Carrboro, NC March 2009. (Available at: and

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Desert Knowledge AustraliaAlice SpringsAustralia
  2. 2.Saican Consultants Inc., Strategy Analysis InternationalMontrealCanada

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