The European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO) is intended to support the (regional) economy. It contributes to the improvement of the competitive position, economic growth, increased quality of life and more sustainable development in Europe. In the Netherlands, the EFRO focuses on improving regional competitive positions and increasing employment opportunities.
Target audiences and objectives of the EFRO
The investments of the programme focus on several priority fields. For the Netherlands, these are
- Innovation and research
- The low-carbon economy
The Netherlands has established four operational EFRO programmes (OP), each linked to a Dutch region:
- OP-North for the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe.
- OP-South for the provinces of Limburg, North Brabant and Zeeland.
- OP-East for the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel.
- OP-West (Opportunities for West2) for the cities of Utrecht, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam and the provinces of Flevoland, North Holland, South Holland and Utrecht.
The primary target audience for the EFRO consists of SMEs. Everyone can participate via Horizon2020: businesses (major, SME and start-ups), universities, colleges, knowledge institutes, (local) governments (municipalities, provinces, water authorities) and NGOs. The most important factors are cooperation in a regional context and the fact that the applicant’s objectives and the innovation match the policy objectives and the RIS3.
Conditions, characteristics and figures
- Budget: €500 million euros in the period from 2014 – 2020
- Every region has control over part of the budget and the management authorities have to option of gradually open the programme to applications and divide the budget based on tenders or on a “first come, first served” basis with variable subsidy percentages (± 35%).