The Future of Global Trade

Sunrise Methodology

Underlying principles

The Sunrise Project methodology is built around five core principles:

 1. To look for early outcomes, to keep stakeholders interested in collaborating.

 2. To build confidence and trust among the stakeholders, so that a continuum of research, trade and investment is created.

 3. To focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) while understanding that their export performance can be expedited by alliances with high quality multinationals with established supply chains.  

 4. To apply to developed and developing nations alike. 

 5. To involve government agencies where appropriate e.g. to utilise government programs where there is a public benefit and/or market failure.

Step 1 – Identification of participating networks & clusters

The first stage identifies and describes the networks and clusters wanting to participate in the Sunrise Project. We have developed a one page format e.g. what it is, why it exists, and how it operates etc.

Examples are provided elsewhere on this website. They include:

  • Logan City, just south of Brisbane. 
  • Wellington (New Zealand) - home to GeniusNet
  • The Rhineland Creativity Hub in Germany
  • The Mining Resource Services and Technologies network
  • the University of Waterloo’s Research and Technology Park
  • Sonoma County Economic Development Board, California
  • Montana Associated Technology Roundtables

Other cluster and network groups will be added to this list in coming months. In this regard, we will be collaborating with The Competiveness Institute (TCI), which has done valuable work in documenting various clusters around the world (The Green Book) and the International Economic Development Council (Washington), the LEED Group (part of the OECD, Paris) and other agencies.

It is proposed to establish autonomous chapters in North America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand etc. etc. as the need arises. They would operate out of existing organisations.  


Step 2 – Sunrise Model Projects

This is the critical step. The aim is to use model projects to prove up the theory. We want to generate real results from collaboration.

So we are currently putting together a suite of model projects that will demonstrate the power of collaboration between companies.

Each of the model projects will demonstrate:

  • Best practice that aligns with a regional competitive advantage i.e. to help a locality to excel in something specific, and thereby attract investment and develop critical mass.
  • The benefits of collaboration, as distinct from working alone.
  • Strong economic and/or social benefits, delivered by quality companies collaborating national borders.

Potential to align with Smart Specialisation Strategies

The OECD and European Commission are promoting Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) as a framework for engaging the private sector and regional stakeholders to identify development nodes.

This makes eminent sense. The philosophical basis is that regions, by specialising in activities that reflect their competitive advantages, will enhance their attractiveness to both private sector investors and public sector service providers. The European Commission has in fact announced that EC Structural Funds will be deployed to support these nodes.

A number of OECD nations are about to commence S3 case studies of specific sectors. These case studies are likely to provide good pointers for cross-border collaboration via the Sunrise Project. They include:

  • Australia - rural industries.
  • Austria - mechatronics, Green Buildings.
  • Belgium - nanotechnology for health.
  • Finland - activating R&D in future growth markets, incl. test markets.
  • Germany - healthcare, ICT, creative industries, energy, transport, logistics.
  • Turkey - automotive.
  • Spain – Navarra biomedical.
  • UK - electric vehicles.

Other examples

1. Pacific Island Maritime Partnership Program

Numerous Asia Pacific nations - Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Philippines - depend heavily on boats for their daily commerce and for local travel. The problem is that a significant proportion of the fleets are unseaworthy.

Cockatoo members working in the Asia Pacific region have raised the possibility of multi-lateral collaboration for the design and construction of a safe, dependable and competitively-priced boat. The broad parameters are as follows:

  • Around 6-10 metres in length.
  • Powered by fuel-efficient, long-range outboard motors.
  • Manufacture to broad specifications (to enable low cost solutions), with variations to  meet local conditions.
  • Manufacture to take place in-country via joint ventures between existing local businesses and global manufacturers of boats (e.g. Hunter Marine, Boston Whaler, Bombardier) and outboard motors (e.g. Mercury, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Evinrude/Johnson).
  • Business plans and design work to be funded via bilateral or multilateral aid programs of nations with strong maritime capabilities and aid programs such as Korea, Japan, Spain, France, Italy, Canada, USA, Nordics, Australia and New Zealand.

2. Vietnam pork

The Vietnamese diet lacks protein and local leaders are very keen to access world-class pork breeding stock and production knowhow.

In 2008-2009, Cockatoo members were involved in a World Bank cluster project in central Vietnam that established porkmeat as an absolute priority. After discussion it was agreed that the best practice approach to meeting the supply shortage would be to engage companies from the world’s leading pork producer nations, such as Canada, Denmark or the USA.

It was further agreed that specific parameters should be applied to such a project, namely that:

  • The foreign companies should have a track record in the developing world i.e. sensitive to local social and cultural systems, a long-term profit outlook.
  • The supply chains and marketing skills of the foreign companies must be utilised.
  • Expatriate Vietnamese should be deployed where possible to reduce language and cultural difficulties.
  • The national governments should fund a portion of the project - to assist the project’s viability, and to consolidate the multilateral and public-private dimensions.

The actual or potential pork networks and clusters in Vietnam would need to be identified and consulted in order to develop the project dimensions. The World Bank understands the potential of this project. 

3. Eco-tourism Precincts

Many regions are looking to eco-tourism to generate investment and jobs. There is a huge scope for international collaboration because of the many facets of this industry e.g. educational, environmental, food, health, adventure and heritage tourism.

We are currently examining the possibility of an exchange of missions in the area of tourism infrastructure development - specifically attracting investment finance, new ways of advancing health-adventure tourism, financing indigenous training, best practice food tourism trails etc. In this regard, we have regions in Australia (e.g. Adelaide, Gippsland, Cape York) and New Zealand looking for collaboration with EC, US and Canadian regions in certain these fields.


Step 3 - Engagement


The Sunrise Project proposes to use the full range of engagement techniques in aligning networks and clusters across borders. These will be used both separately and in combination. The techniques include:

  • Familiarisation visits.
  • Cluster and network snapshots.
  • Market research.
  • Business plans for specific investments.
  • Trade displays.
  • Simulcast conferences.
  • In-country workshops.
  • Cluster conferences.
  • Targeted investment missions – inwards and outwards.

The first two techniques are our initial focus.

Familiarisation visits

This is the logical place to start. Our reasoning is that the best outcomes in regional and business development result from people clicking with other people. They find others with the same passion and view of the world, and agendas develop from there.

When these relationships develop across international borders, the results can be particularly rewarding.

This is why the Cockatoo Network has put lots of economic development professionals into face-to-face contact with their international counterparts. We identify potential collaborators and then suggest one or more them jump on a plane and meet each other! We figure that combining work with a holiday can be a great way of commencing the engagement process.

It is proposed that these visits be combined with attendance at regularly scheduled international, national and regional conferences. This website will in future be providing a listing of such conferences to facilitate forward travel planning.  

Cluster and network snapshots

Potential investors look for clusters of customers and clients who will buy their goods and services. They also look for quality infrastructure - water, energy, roads, telecoms, skilled labor, financiers - that will assist their business activities.

In this regard, we receive regular requests for snapshots of such clusters. The Sunrise Project will thus provide a suite of these snapshots for mot only potential investors but for other cluster and network agencies looking for collaborative cross-border opportunities.  

The Snapshots will have the following features:
  • To serve as the Sunrise Project framework, leading to other actions e.g. familiarisation visits, business plans, workshops, conferences, market research, investment missions.
  • Standardised format - core competencies; key inputs and outcomes; key stakeholders; cross-border opportunities; maps; key contacts.
  • Preparation by an international team of cluster experts.
  • Alignment with OECD Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) – in order to progress that agenda.
  • Funding sought from government agencies, institutional investors, development agencies and philanthropic groups.