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The European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis


To continue the successful work of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI) ESCA - The European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis was established by one of the leading German innovation agencies VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH to offer practical advice to cluster management organizations.

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.

ESCA collaborates with acknowledged clusters experts from different EU member states and offers access to a huge pool of expertise through its network.

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

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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

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.