By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

Action Del Norte, which recently formed andquot;Industry Clustersandquot; as a means to beef up the local economy, terms the new effort as andquot;a cutting edge approachandquot; to community and economic development.

andquot;In the modern economy, the key to competitive advantage is to be more productive with your available inputs,andquot; said Action Del Norte Program Director Reweti Wiki. andquot;In cases where we see clusters formed, not only do we see productivity increased, but we also see clusters becoming the driving force behind innovation; and not surprisingly, clusters also attract and retain the best talent whether that be people or other companies.andquot;

The idea was originally put forth by Harvard Business professor Michael Porter. The concept is that concentrating companies and institutions of related fields increases an industry's competitive advantage.

andquot;Humboldt Area Foundation identified several key clusters that are currently driving forces behind our economy including healthcare and tourismandquot; said Wiki. andquot;Through clusters we can start a dialogue within that industry and also between other identified clusters including Agriculture and Natural Resources, Coastal Industries, Downtown Revitalization, Education and Workforce Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage and New Economies.andquot;

The groups will meet until November, at which point Action Del Norte hopes to have a plan to share with fellow Del Norters.

To volunteer, or get more information, contact Wiki at 464-3174.