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European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Innovative Actions

The ERDF Innovative Actions is a programme, which will help the less well-developed regions to increase their competitiveness and achieve the objectives of reducing disparities and creating high-quality jobs by supporting the investments in the fields of innovation, Research and Technology Development (RTD) and the application of new Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).

What instruments are available?
The new generation of innovative actions will have three strands:

  • Regional programmes of innovative actions and the resulting pilot projects
  • Support measures for the exchange of experiences and the establishment of networks between regions
  • Competitions to identify and develop the best projects and practices.

The ERDF Innovative Actions’ strategy focuses on three strategic themes:
· Regional economies based on knowledge and technological innovation
· eEuropeRegio, the information society at the service of regional development
· Regional identity and sustainable development.

Which countries are involved?
Only Member States are involved.

Who may apply?
The list of eligible regions is included in the Annex A of the guidelines.
The whole of the region is eligible for innovative actions and not just those parts covered by Objective 1 and/or 2.

How to apply?
Eligible regions may submit a draft programme to the Directorate General for Regional Policies by 31 May in any of the years from 2001-2005. Programmes should not last more than two years.

What is the budget and planning for the future years?
Selected regional programmes will each be allocated between 300,000 euro and 3 million euro. In total, the budget for innovative actions for the entire period 2000-06 amounts to some 450 million euro. The bulk of this will be spent on co-funding the regional programmes.

How long will the programme run?
The ERDF Innovative Actions are part of the European Regional Development Fund programme, which runs from 2000 to 2006.

What is the legal basis?
Being part of the European Regional Development Fund, ERDF Innovative Actions have their legal basis on the Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds and Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 on the European Regional Development Fund.
Moreover, on 31 January 2001 the European Commission adopted its guidelines for innovative actions to be funded by the European Regional Development Fund in 2000-06.