In October 2009 steps were taken to establish a geothermal cluster in Iceland. Support for mapping of the cluster was given by a broad group of companies. The mapping was performed by Professor Michael Porter and his team at Harvard Business School and coordinated by the consultancy Gekon. The mapping process output was a recommendation for an optimal path to strengthen the infrastructure within the geothermal sector in Iceland by formalising a cluster initiative.

Iceland Geothermal Cluster Initiative (IGCI) is a nonprofit organisation that aims to promote geothermal as a comparative renewable energy solution for society and businesses. Utilisation of high and low temperature geothermal resources creates high-value jobs and improves quality of life and social wellbeing. Investment in geothermal solution is a long-term investment that offers baseload energy generation and a vast variety of other related revenue streams, derived from cascading strategies. Geothermal resources are sustainable and renewable base load energy solution that improve energy security and growth.

The IGCI and its members take part and host event and workshops, organize delegation and share knowledge and experience and assist in promote geothermal at a country to county level. The cluster takes active part in defining best practice for the sector and building up international collaborations to map best practice. The cluster performs analysis, published reports and papers. IGCI is involved in international collaboration and is a member of International Geothermal Association (IGA) and Geothermal Global Alliance (GGA).

As previously described, the mapping looked to the already mature energy sector in Iceland that had century of experience working with hydropower and geothermal resources. Within the sector unique sets of skills and knowledge had accumulated, specifically around geothermal utilisation. Iceland had been active in sharing its knowledge with equipment manufacturers, specialists and other countries though delegation visits. However, a unified platform focus on developing business and innovation opportunities was missing. Iceland Geothermal Cluster is a business-driven cluster aimed at sustaining competitive advantage of the geothermal industry.

Several working groups were established under the Iceland Geothermal name and a workshop was held in Reykjavik in May 2011. The idea of an international conference soon emerged and it was decided that and international conference should be held in the name of the cluster initiative. The conference should focus on business development and utilisation. The quality of the conference should be benchmark based on participation of industry leaders, influential speakers and, if possible, new business opportunities created. This was at the time in contrast to most other conferences that were focused on academic aspects, and the quality was commonly measured in number of publications introduced at the event.