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BRONZE LABEL - Benchmarking process

„ESCA benchmarking labels are great to understand the gaps that your Clusters have with the Best Practices. Try to get your Cluster managers involved in the benchmarking process, and they will have a clear route for improving their clusters. Good luck!“

Dr. Manuel Monotya Ortega,

Automotive Cluster of Nuevo Leon, Mexico

BRONZE LABEL for clusters

Proposal for the Cluster House BBS ClusNet members

The benchmarking is based on a personal interview between the cluster manager and an impartial ESCA benchmarking expert (see also www.cluster-analysis.org/benchmarked-clusters/benchmarking-in-a-nutshell). The interview takes about 2.5 hours and will be conducted at the premises of the cluster organization. The analysis will focus on 36 indicators that capture 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. Results will be presented in a report. The report (approx. 70 pages) is presented in English language and includes:

•  A graphical comparison of the cluster with peer clusters from the same technology areas and with clusters from other areas;

• An evaluation of the cluster’s strengths and weaknesses;

• A comparison with the indicators on cluster management excellence according to the ‘European Cluster Excellence Initiative’;

•Recommendations for improvement.

In addition to the report the cluster organization will be awarded with the Bronze Label certificate of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative for participating in benchmarking plus electronic files of the Bronze Label which can be used for their marketing and communication activities. The cluster organization will also be listed in a public database including all clusters that have participated in the exercise.

Until now 936 cluster organizations from 41 European and overseas countries have participated in the benchmarking. For an overview, please see the database at www.cluster-analysis.org/benchmarked-clusters).

Dates for an interview will be arranged according to the schedule of the cluster organization. The evaluation of data and the drafting of the benchmarking report takes about 4-5 weeks.

Costs of the benchmarking are EUR 1,850.00 plus travel/accommodation (excl. VAT). Costs include interview at the premises of the cluster organization and the report (approx. 70 pages).

Interested clusters should contact the Cluster House directly via  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in order to achieve a more favorable bid for the cluster group of five or European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis directly via  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

TCI European Conference 20-22 march, Sofia


Article is available only in Serbian language.

Kick-off: Second Phase of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative

We are very happy to announce the official start of the Second Phase of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI 2). On February 1st we hosted the kick off meeting of this initiative to discuss with our European partners the way towards the further development of the cluster labelling scheme. 24 cluster experts attended the meeting, representing 17 organisations who have committed themselves to participate in ECEI 2. An additional eight organisations with a stated commitment to the ECEI 2 process were not able to participate but will contribute to it in the further process.

ECEI II is the result of an intensive discussion with the European Commission about the further development of the Cluster Labelling Scheme that resulted from the first European Cluster Excellence Initiative (2009-2011). The scheme is – thanks to the valuable contribution of cluster organisations and assessors – a huge success: more than 1,000 cluster organisations from 41 countries have already participated in the scheme and received a Bronze, Silver or Gold Label of Cluster Management Excellence. As the cluster merry-go-round has been racing since the inception of the scheme some seven years ago and many new developments occurred, there is a need for a revision of the labelling scheme.

Aiming to find new indicators to measure cluster management excellence, e.g. in the context of smart specialisation or internationalisation, and to the enhancement of the capacity of the expert network as well as of a new governance system that takes the large number of stakeholders and their interests better into account, the overall objective of ECEI II, funded under the COSME programme, is to develop a process leading to an improved European Cluster Excellence Policy with a particular focus on a higher level of transparency, accountability and efficiency of the current European benchmarking and labelling scheme. The new system that will emerge from this process will be fully operational from 2019 onwards.

The following specific objectives need to be achieved in order to reach this overall objective:

  • The existing methodology of the labelling will be further developed in order to adapt it to today’s cluster challenges. Also new communication tools will be developed. This will not only inspire the Phase 2 of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative, but will also increase the Europeanisation of the labelling system in a transparent way.
  • Cluster Management Excellence expertise needs to be reinforced at European level. The strengthening of the benchmarking and labelling methodology through training for practitioners and encouraging twinning approaches between cluster organisations in the regions will be essential in this respect.
  • A management structure for the renewed European cluster benchmarking and labelling process will be developed. This will happen notably through a “European Cluster Coordination Board” that is to be shared by the European Commission, who will ensure policy supervision and will monitor the implementation of the new process.

ECEI 2 is led by VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH as host organisation of the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA). More than twenty organisations from all across Europe have joined the project.

Source  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/kick-off-second-phase-european-cluster-excellence-thomas-l%C3%A4mmer-gamp


New perspective for the Balkan Clusters through ESCA model for labelling cluster excellence

Today's the ESCA II phase first working meeting in Berlin definitely opened the new brightest perspective for strategic cluster development in the Balkans. Discussion was in harmony with the SMART Balkan Cluster Policy Declaration, which the Cluster House on behalf of the BBS ClusNet submitted to the EC DG Enterprise Cluster Unit, as the output paper of the Round Table within the Eccp Cluster Matchmaking event, which was held in Thessaloniki in September last year.

The Berlin meeting gathered carefully selected representatives from 20 organization from Europe.

The Balkan clusters have been presented pure realistic, respecting clusters needs which have been identified and analysed from the Cluster House last 7 years, collected continually during the seven BBS conferences Days of Clusters (Serbia, Bulgari, Turkey, Romania, Macedonia 2010-2016) and other cluster related events.
I kindly asked our European cluster colleagues to forecast possibility of creation a special model of clusters accreditation/labeling cluster excellence/ for the Balkan clusters with the aim to support our efforts in the further cluster-based economic development in the Balkans and to support our contribution in keeping the peace in the region.

This was one of the best meetings for the Balkan Cluster Development in last 5 years that I attended.

Thank you Thomas Lämmer-Gamp and your team for this great oportunity for the Balkans to open its sleepy eyes.

The Balkan Cluster Family lead by the Cluster House will use the opportunity to continue with the policy development efforts in the framework of the TCI European Cluster Conference in Sofia in March 20-22. We will try to set up meetings with all important stakeholders such as EC and policy makers from economically powerful countries who can have interest for collaboration with the Balkans.