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REGION OF THE WEEK: UPPER NORMANDY (FRANCE)

UPPER NORMANDY (FRANCE)

09/12/2011

What are the region’s priorities?

The region of Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie) has a per capita GDP of 97% of the EU-27 average in 2008. It is the region with the youngest population in France, with 36.5% of its inhabitants under the age of 25.

Upper Normandy enjoys a very favourable geographical location as it is situated between the Paris Basin and the English Channel. The Seine, which flows through the two départements in Upper Normandy, is the main transport route from and to the ports of Rouen and Le Havre. These two ports together are the largest of France’s ports and are ranked number three among Europe’s ports.

The region’s strategy is based on its desire to assert its role as an international maritime interface. It is involved in supporting the sectors which generate jobs and wealth: automotive, aeronautics, electronics, logistics, chemistry, biology and health. It is also Upper Normandy’s aim to diversify its activities to guarantee its economic transition. It wants to achieve a new environmental balance.

What contribution has been made by the EU's regional policy?

The region is eligible for a programme supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), providing an investment from the EU of EUR 219 million for the 2007-2013 period. The programme is structured according to the following priorities:

  • making the information economy more dynamic: this fosters the knowledge and skills which are conducive to creativity and innovation (providing support to competitiveness clusters), and expands technology transfer activities.

  • innovation at the heart of the economic and social changes in businesses: this involves guiding traditional industrial companies in making their economic changes (for example, by helping them find new products).

  • an environmentally-friendly regional economy: this guarantees conditions for a controlled, preserved environment, as well as control over energy and the development of renewable energy.

  • improving living conditions and strengthening social and territorial cohesion: urban revitalisation; support for innovative cultural projects, innovative personal services (especially for dependent and isolated women in an urban environment) and support for the development of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) services and very high-speed infrastructures.

Roughly 20% of payments have been made so far to project developers.

This region is the main authority responsible for the cross-border programme between France and the UK. Almost EUR 80 million from the ERDF are still available for projects involving both countries together.

Examples of projects

  • Nutriset is a company which develops and makes ready-to-use food products for populations suffering from malnutrition. Thanks to its research, the company has developed a new range of products which radically transform the prevention of malnutrition.

  • An old hangar in the port of Rouen has been turned into an exhibition area enabling children to discover science in a fun, interactive way (H20 centre).

  • The Skinoflor project is partly run by the Glyco-MEV laboratory (at the University of Rouen) in collaboration with Uriage, a company specialising in cosmetic dermatology. This company is planning to develop new cosmetic formulations aimed at improving protection for sensitive skin types.

  • The Le Havre urban area tram network is a major project supported by the European Regional Policy to the tune of almost EUR 52.4 million. The future network will be 13 kilometres long and have 23 stops.

Further information

“Upper Normandy” Operational Programme
http://www.europe-haute-normandie.fr/