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This case describes the origins of a cluster initiative in the geothermal energy industry in Iceland and its initial steps in 2010. The case examines the specific characteristics of the country and recent events in its history, and it describes the geothermal industry and the traditional "cluster approach" up to 2010. It then describes the actions undertaken by Gekon, the company that is leading the cluster initiative, the steps in the process, the involvement of companies as well as public and private organizations, and the challenges ahead.
The teaching objectives of the case are: 1. To illustrate the complexities involved in managing cluster projects. 2. To assess the capabilities of the organization in question to manage certain kinds of projects. 3. To help students understand the pros & cons of top-down versus bottom-up approaches for cluster projects and initiatives. 4. To introduce some of the key success factors and limitations of a cluster organization of this kind.