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 continous 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.
DG ENTRE of the European Commission organises stakeholder workshop on "Moving forward the EU policy agenda on cluster excellence - Lessons learned and new challenges at policy and operational level", Brussels, September 23rd, 2014
The European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI) co-financed by CIP during the period 2009-2012 was instrumental in promoting cluster management as a key element of the EU strategy aimed to develop more world-class clusters in the EU. In the new programming period 2014-2020, COSME will pursue these efforts on cluster excellence and a number of new Calls for proposals will be launched to provide more opportunities to European cluster organisations to benefit from the ECEI results on cluster benchmarking and cluster manager trainings. The objective of this workshop will be to debate on the next EU agenda on cluster excellence and in particular which additional activities might be worth to explore and implement under COSME both at policy and operational level.
Participation in this workshop is free - for further information please download announcement notice and programme.
New Cluster Excellence Programme launched by the European Commission to support ESCA labelling of cluster organisations – call for proposal is open until October 29th, 2014
The overall objective of this Call for proposals is to pursue the EU efforts aimed to strengthen cluster management excellence in the EU as a way to provide more professional business services to European SMEs through clusters and therefore contribute to the development of more world-class clusters in the EU.
Eligible actions include, inter alia, participation in benchmarking activities aimed to assess their management performance according to the benchmarking methodology developed by the European Cluster Excellence Initiative and currently provided by the European Secretariat of Cluster Analysis (ESCA).
The call for proposals is directly addressed to consortia of cluster organisations or business networks.
For further details please see: http://ec.europa.eu/easme/cluster-excellence-programme_en.htm
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
2nd BSR STARS Cluster-to-Cluster Conference and Matchmaking in Berlin, September 18th and 19th, 2014
BSR Stars' cluster-to-cluster conference and matchmaking is dedicated to matching clusters (and SME networks) with each other, and support them in finding relevant funding for international activities. This two-day event gives both insight into funding schemes dedicated to clusters (such as BSR Innovation Express and H2020) and a unique opportunity to establish international collaboration with other clusters. With 170 participants from more than 70 clusters from 15 countries, and 225 cluster-to-cluster meetings, the BSR Innovation Express Cluster-to-Cluster Conference and Matchmaking was Europe's largest cluster matchmaking event in 2013. BSR Stars’ annual meeting point for key cluster staff returns again this year on September 18-19 in Berlin. In 2014, the event presents an increased focus on the opportunities for clusters in Horizon 2020 and takes place in Berlin in order to represent broader collaboration possibilities. Thus we call it “Towards New Horizons”. The organizers of the BSR Stars' cluster-to-cluster conference and matchmaking are go-cluster (Germany), BSR Stars’ Innovation in the Baltic Sea Region, TCI Network and Netmatch (Denmark).
For further information and registration please visit www.cluster-to-cluster.com.
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