The European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis
As part of the EU efforts to create more world-class clusters across the EU by strengthening cluster excellence, the Commission launched in 2009, under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI). To continue the successful work of this pan-European initiative which involved 13 partners from nine European countries ESCA - The European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis was established by one of the partners, VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH, to offer practical advice to cluster management organizations. Today, ESCA is a network of cluster experts from 27 countries.
Clusters are complex and dynamic structures that are subject to continuous change. Strong clusters can promote economic growth through leveraging the innovation and business potential of a region. New employment opportunities, new products and services, new companies, new R&D activities and new patents can be the result of activities within a cluster. A professional cluster management can contribute to such a development through projects and services that tap into the cluster's potential. The European Cluster Excellence Initiative, initiated by the European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry, developed methodologies and tools to support cluster organisations to improve their capacities and capabilities in the management of clusters and networks. Being members of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative 13 project partners from nine European countries - all well experienced in the field of cluster management and support - created a uniform set of cluster management quality indicators and developed a quality labeling system for professional cluster management with the aim to get this methodology and proof of quality accepted all over Europe.
In this context ESCA offers services in two areas:
- ESCA promotes cluster management excellence through benchmarking and quality labelling of clusters and cluster management organizations. ESCA has been mandated by the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI) to organise the assessment process.
- ESCA supports cluster policy makers and programme owners with advice on cluster programme development.
Call for Proposals: Towards EU Regional Economic Convergence (TREC) - Pilot Projects to reinforce collaboration among clusters and technology centres
The main objective of this call is to launch pilot projects reinforcing cooperation among clusters and related technology centres. These pilot projects should be in line with regional smart specialisation priorities, exploit growth opportunities and accelerate regional economic convergence across the EU. This call aims to maximise the innovation uptake and productivity increases by identifying:
- R&D & innovation solutions and challenges,
- value chain linkages,
- business opportunities for collaboration across borders and sectors, notably between SMEs from less and more economically advanced regions.
More information can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8242&lang=en&title=Towards%2DEU%2DRegional%2DEconomic%2DConvergence%2D%28TREC%29%2D%2D%2DPilot%2DProjects%2Dto%2Dreinforce%2Dcollaboration%2Damong%2Dclusters%2Dand%2Dtechnology%2Dcentres
ESCA paper presented at stakeholder workshop of DG ENTRE of the European Commission on "Moving forward the EU policy agenda on cluster excellence - Lessons learned and new challenges at policy and operational level", Brussels, September 23rd, 2014
Cluster Monitor Germany - Trends and Prospects of Clusters in Germany
Given the increasing demand for information on the effects of clusters and networks, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has launched the “Cluster Monitor Germany”. The “Cluster Monitor Germany” systematically monitors current trends in research- and innovation-focused clusters. The intention is to carry out regular monitoring in order to identify developments and draw conclusions regarding a potential need for action over a longer period of time.
New study: Clusters and what role they can play in promoting cross-innovation between creative and "traditional" industries
Creative industries have become a major focus of industrial policy throughout Europe. There are huge expectations put towards this industrial sector as it is expected to contribute to the industrial renewal of the European economy – “In the recent decades the world has been moving at a faster pace. For Europe and other parts of the world, the rapid roll-out of new
The study is available at the website of the Institute for Innovation and Technology (iit), a parter of the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis.
New study: New approaches to improve the performance of cluster management organisations in Europe
French Government published benchmarking report of ESCA that was prepared in the context of the evaluation of the French cluster programme "Pôles de compétitivité"
In the context of the evaluation of the French cluster programme "Pôles de compétitivité" ESCA benchmarked 71 cluster organisation that are supported under the scheme. For further information please see the website of the programme. The report can be downloaded here.
For further information about our work please see our publications
Cluster programmes and cluster policy
Benchmarking of cluster organisations