The European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA) offers a joint benchmarking workshop for all interested cluster managers. The objective of the workshop is to learn from better performing peers or other entities in order to improve your own structures, processes, products, and services.

During the 5-hour workshop session, you will get a chance to pitch your own cluster strategy and receive valuable input from international peers and two ESCA experts, discuss and listen to success stories from other cluster organizations, and participate in the ESCA benchmarking exercise, which allows for the comparison of your cluster’s performance with more than 1,000 labelled cluster organizations worldwide.

After the workshop, ESCA will provide individual benchmarking reports for all workshop participants, including a graphical comparison of your cluster with clusters from the same technological area and a “cluster excellence group” as well as recommendations for improvement. By participating in the benchmarking exercise, you demonstrate your interest in striving for excellence and will be awarded the Bronze Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI).

Fee per cluster organization

Fee is dependent on the number of cluster organizations participating (min: 4; max: 6). You will be notified of the price via email on or after October 1, 2018.

Price per cluster organization (with 13% Harmonized Sales Tax included):

4 cluster organizations

5 cluster organizations

6 cluster organizations

$3,000 CAD (~€ 1,990)

$2,780 CAD (~€ 1,840)

$2,650 CAD (~€ 1,750)

Note: The Institute is not responsible for any exchange rate fees.

What does your fee include?

  • 5-hour workshop with up to 5 other cluster organizations and 2 facilitators (including 1 trainer) that will allow you to: (1) receive feedback on your cluster pitch; (2) learn success stories from other cluster organizations, and; (3) participate in the ESCA benchmarking exercise for bronze certification.
  • Customized benchmarking report specific to your organization.
  • Convenient and beautiful location at the University of Toronto’s business school, Rotman School of Management (also location of Day 2 of TCI 2018).
  • Food and beverages throughout the day including morning and afternoon breaks and lunch.
  • All workshop materials.

This workshop is open exclusively to TCI 2018 delegates.  


  • Dr. Oliver Ziegler, European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA)
  • Vincent Dugré, Bivizio; TCI Network Board of Directors

Hosted by

The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity and the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA). For any questions, please contact Dorinda So, Research Director, Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity at [at] or 1-416-946-5325.


  9:00 am – 9:15 am


  9:00 am – 9:30 am

Introduction to Cluster Excellence

  9:30 am – 11:00 am

Strategy Pitches

11:00 am – 11:30 am


11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Discussion of Success Stories

  1:00 pm  – 3:00 pm

Benchmarking Surveys


All collected data and information shared during the workshop and any reports produced are treated with absolute confidentiality by ESCA and will not be made available to any third party. All registration information collected by the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity will be treated with absolute confidentiality by the Institute and will not be made available to any third party.


For the benchmarking workshop to proceed, 4 cluster organizations that have completed the entire registration process are needed. Once at least 4 cluster organizations who have completed the registration process, each cluster organization will be informed and the payment will proceed via credit card. Your credit card will only be charged at this point before the workshop. If the workshop does not proceed, your credit card authorization form and information will be destroyed by the Institute to ensure confidentiality and security.

To register:

  1. Complete the registration form here.
  2. Complete and sign the credit card authorization form attached and send it to Dorinda at [at] (Note: Please call the financial institution that issued your credit card to let them know that an international charge will be made.)
  3. Wait to hear from Dorinda So, Research Director after October 1, 2018 on whether the workshop will proceed and the exact price. Your credit card will only be charged at this time.

Last day to register: October 1, 2018


For any questions, please contact Dorinda So, Research Director, [at] or 1-416-946-5325.

Facilitator bios

Dr. Oliver Ziegler is a Project Manager at the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA), hosted by VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH, Berlin (Germany). He has extensive experience in cluster development through policy and program intervention and management of cluster organizations. Oliver’s main activities and responsibilities at ESCA cover strategy development, consulting, evaluation and auditing of cluster organizations as well as development and implementation of internationalization strategies. He holds a PhD in International Political Economy from the Free University Berlin.

Prior to his work at ESCA, Oliver worked as an Economic Specialist at the US Embassy in Berlin, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and in the Cluster and CSR programs of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna. Oliver has led and participated in various research projects throughout Europe, in the United States, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.

Vincent Dugré has spent the last 15 years as a cluster manager and cluster practitioner. In January 2017, he left his management position with the Québec Ground Transportation Cluster to dedicate more time to help other clusters and territories establish cluster initiatives based on world-class best practices. He is now focusing on cluster management, smart specialization processes, cross-sectorial innovation, and digital ecosystems as the co-founder of the private company Bivizio.

Mr. Dugré regularly collaborates with various Canadian clusters and local authorities on cluster and competitiveness strategy development.  He was also the co-founder of a pre-competitive research consortium (energy and electric vehicles).

Vincent has been an active member of the TCI Network and its activities since 2006 and was elected to its Board of Directors in 2015.

Before becoming an ESCA certification expert, Mr. Dugré passed the ESCA evaluation benchmarking process for bronze labelling for Cluster Management Excellence twice.

In 2017, Mr. Dugré was selected to be a peer reviewer for the CLUSTERS3 Interreg Europe project. His work was related to the review of Northern Ireland cluster initiatives and S3 strategy.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, Mr. Dugré can offer various solutions addressing complex problems and collaborative issues. Mr. Dugré has experience in the following sectors: Logistics and mobility, Aluminum, Food Processing, Defense and Security, IT, Energy, Transportation Equipment (cars, commercial trucking and equipment, trains, and buses).

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