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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.


European Commission: NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: RINASCIMENTO IN MILAN, 13-14 November 2014

You would like to know what emerging industries really are and be up to date on recent developments?

You would like to find out what kind of policy frameworks can provide the best support to emerging industries?

You would like to share your thoughts on and better understand the needs of emerging industries?

Then we might have something for you...

The first European Emerging Industries Conference "Rinascimento: Emerging Industries – A New Engine for Growth", organised by the Region of Lombardy in cooperation with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry in the framework of the Italian Council Presidency will offer an important opportunity for policy makers, entrepreneurs, SME intermediaries and other stakeholders to come together and exchange views, ideas and opinions on Europe's most important resource – innovation.

The European Emerging Industries Conference will address, in particular, the following questions:

  • What are the current and upcoming trends and developments in emerging industries?
  • What can policy makers do and how can a favourable policy framework contribute to emerging industries?
  • What are the business support needs of entrepreneurs in emerging industries?

Conference sessions will include keynote speeches, panel discussions and parallel sessions focusing on specific emerging industries' issues. Moreover, an exhibition in the conference premises will showcase recent developments in emerging industries, the 'E-Merging Café' will offer an invaluable networking opportunity, and the conference dinner will provide participants with delicious Italian cuisine.

Hear the views of key decision makers. Engage with stakeholders, policy makers and leading entrepreneurs in emerging industries. And above all, make yourself heard and come to the first European Emerging Industries Conference  on 13-14 November 2014 in Milan.

The event will be free of charge for participants.

You can register for, and find more information on the conference at the dedicated conference website:

European Commission: Public consultation on a proposal for a new Small Business Act

DG ENTRE of European Commission plans to present a proposal for a new Small Business Act next year. SMEs and SME representatives/national administrations and others are invited to submit comments and suggestions in the context of a public consultation. The aim of this public consultation is to gather feedback and ideas on how the Small Business Act for Europe should be revised to continue a strong European policy to support Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs in 2015-2020. The consultation is available in all the EU languages and will close on 15 December. Please access it 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 Cluster Excellence Programme launched by the European Commission to support ESCA labelling of cluster organisations – call for proposal is open until October 29th, 2014

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.