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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:

  1. 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.
  2. ESCA supports cluster policy makers and programme owners with advice on cluster programme development.


GROW your REGIOn conference now open for registration!

The joint DG GROW and DG REGIO  conference on delivering smart specialisation and economic transformation through clusters that takes place on 27-28 April 2015  in Brussels, is now open for registration.

This is a conference with a difference: it will take place in an interactive, participatory format and the discussions will be based on real-life actions and experiences. Therefore, we have launched a call for expression of interest for Smart Cluster Stories to be told during the opening plenary in the afternoon of 27 April and which will set the scene for the following discussions.

This document (click for download) provides more information on what type of stories we are looking for and also includes a mandatory story template to be submitted by 20 March cob. Following this date the Commission services will select the most pertinent 4-6 stories to be presented at the conference. We hope that you will respond to the call and propose your interesting stories.

More information on the conference programme, the template for submitting proposals for Smart Cluster Stories and how to register for the conference can be found at:


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

New study: Clusters and what role they can play in promoting cross-innovation between creative and "traditional" industries

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


ESCA is hosted by IT-Logo.