European Observatory for Clusters and Industrial Change

In 2006, The European Commission launched the first phase of the European Cluster Observatory that provided statistical information, analyses, as well as mapping of clusters and cluster policies in Europe. The succeeding second phase further developed these targets through cross-sectoral linkages, competitiveness and entrepreneurship opportunities. The current third phase strongly builds upon these experiences, but extends them through a focus on industrial change. This means that the new European Observatory for Clusters and Industrial Change will include key enabling technologies, digitalisation, creativity, service innovation, entrepreneurship as well as resource-efficient solutions as key drivers for industrial change. In doing so, it aims to contribute to developing more world-class clusters and business networks in the European Union as well as accelerate industrial modernisation and the creation of jobs and growth through cluster development.

The aim of the European Observatory for Clusters and Industrial Change (EOCIC) is to help Europe's regions and countries in designing better and more evidence-based cluster policies and initiatives. The Observatory supports:

  • Industrial modernisation;
  • Entrepreneurship in emerging industries with growth potential,
  • SMEs' access to clusters and internationalisation activities and
  • More strategic inter-regional collaboration and investments in the implementation of smart specialisation strategies.



From October 2017 to October 2019 the observatory will, amongst other things:

  • Provide statistical and trend analysis of clusters;
  • identify favourable framework conditions and bottlenecks for the development of clusters and industrial modernisation;
  • provide customised policy advice to 12 selected regions with a specific problem or societal challenge, so they can become in the future a model for other regions with the same concerns;
  • provide advisory support services to European Strategic Cluster Partnerships; and
  • support mutual cluster policy learning and transnational cooperation.


The ultimate goal is that enterprises, particularly SMEs, are provided with more favourable regional ecosystems and better support for innovation and entrepreneurship, in general, and adjusting to industrial change and reaping growth opportunities, in particular.


ongoing (10.2017-10.2019)


  • European Commission, DG Growth
  • Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)


Deloitte Consulting (Leadpartner), Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), Teknologian Tutkimuskesku VTT OY, Valdani Vicar & Associati S.r.l. (VVA), Strasbourg Conseil, Centro Studi Industria Leggera (CSIL), Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação, Consultadoria Empresarial e Fomento da Inovação (SPI)