You are here: Home / Benchmarking: Bronze Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI) / ESCA benchmarking approach and indicators

Benchmarking approach and indicators


In contrast to evaluations and economic impact assessments benchmarking is an efficient and effective way to identify the potential of a cluster and to develop strategic recommendations for its further development within a short time frame.

Benchmarking is a comparative analysis of structures, processes, products and services. It compares an entity to peers in the same field of activity and/or to best practices from entities in other areas. The objective of benchmarking is to learn from better performing peers or other entities in order to improve own structures, processes, products and services.

Benchmarking interview
ESCA cluster benchmarking is based on a personal interview of about two hours duration with the manager of a cluster organization. The interview is conducted by an impartial ESCA benchmarking expert.

36 indicators are analyzed
By focussing on 36 indicators the interview captures data on different dimensions of the cluster and the cluster organization, including the structure of the cluster, the cluster management and the governance structures of the cluster, financing of the cluster organization, services provided by the cluster organization, communication within the cluster and achievements and recognition of the cluster and the cluster organization (for an overview of indicators please see download).

Benchmarking report
The analysis is presented in a comprehensive benchmarking report (ca. 70 pages). The report includes graphical comparison of the cluster with clusters from the same technological area and the most excellent ones in Europe. The report also includes recommendations for improvement.

Comparative portfolio of more than 800 clusters
For the purpose of benchmarking the analysis refers to a comparative portfolio of more than 800 clusters from 40 European and overseas countries (for an overview of benchmarked clusters please see Database of Benchmarked Clusters).

Confidentiality
Collected data and any reports produced are treated with absolute confidentiality and will not be made available to any third party.

What cluster managers say about the benchmarking
"The NGPE Excellence project gave us the opportunity to benchmark our cluster organization with other excellent clusters in Europe. Although the Mechatronics Cluster was rated among the top 10% of all surveyed cluster organizations, there is still room improvement as analyzed in detail in the benchmarking report."

Christoph Matthias Reiss-Schmidt, Clusterland Oberösterreich GmbH (Austria)

"Thank you very much for this comprehensive and valuable benchmarking report. We have already distributed the report amongst our core members and our board, and have received valuable feedback on your recommendations that will influence our strategy."
Peter Black, Director, Offshore Center Danmark (Denmark)

"Thank you very much for the benchmarking report and the competent recommendations that we will put into action. It is really interesting to compare oneself with other clusters in a larger context."
Dr. Jürgen Bauer, Managing Director, Forestry and Wood Cluster Initiative (Germany)

"I would like to thank you for the detailed information and for the material sent which is of high interest for our cluster."
Bianca Dragomir, AVAESEN (Spain)