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REGION OF THE WEEK:

Randstad region

(26 June 2013)

Randstad region

On 26 and 27 June, Commissioner Hahn is in the Netherlands’ capital city Amsterdam at the centre of the Randstad region to exchange ideas with the Mayor of Amsterdam and various stakeholders on how cities and in particular the capital city can help reaching Europe 2020 Strategy objectives like sustainable urban development and innovation in the next programming period 2014-20. About one-third of the EU-funding is earmarked for the four big cities in the region: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam en The Hague in order to increase innovation, entrepreneurship and their socio-economic attractiveness.

With a population of approximately 7 million inhabitants, the Randstad region is one of the largest and densely populated metropolitan areas in Europe. It consists of major Dutch industrial cities and is the hinterland of the largest European seaport, Rotterdam. It is one of the most important economic areas in the northwest of Europe and already ranks high on entrepreneurial and innovation indexes. The region has a vast potential and can build on its many strengths to grasp the opportunities lying ahead.

However the region also faces many challenges. Noise and air pollution, mobility problems, shortage on the housing market and social challenges are inherently linked to the strong urbanization. In addition, climate change and rising water levels are an imminent threat for the Randstad as the region lies almost entirely below sea level.

 

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

During the 2007-2013 period, the EU is investing via the European Regional Development Fund 311 million euro in the Randstad and the adjacent province of Flevoland under the operational programme "Kansen voor West" (opportunities for West).  Most investments in the region have been made to strengthen clusters (such as life sciences, environmental technology and creative industries) and to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation in small and medium sized enterprises.  Also several projects are funded which focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The total investment costs of the funded projects amounts to more than 1 billion euro. 

 

Project examples

EYE Film Institute Netherlands: EU contribution EUR 1.500.000

EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the Dutch centre for film culture and heritage, is dedicated to foster a viable film industry in the Netherlands and to promote Dutch film at home and abroad. The project concerns the equipment of the building hosting the institute and the drafting and implementation of a marketing and communication plan, in particular building relations with new target groups.

Amsterdam Smart City: EU contribution EUR 1.564.140

The Amsterdam Smart City project aims to promote the Amsterdam region as an area in which new sustainable business activity contributes to reinforcing the economy. The basic idea behind this project is that Information and Communication Technology can be applied to energy saving. Inhabitants, business and public authorities work together on the development and implementation of innovative projects. This initiative should lead to a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions in the Amsterdam region.

Bioproces Pilot Facility: EU contribution EUR 4.645.000

The Bioproces Pilot Facility is a centre of expertise and technology in Delft open to researchers and students from all over the world where companies, universities and knowledge institutions work together to find out whether their ideas on how to transform a 'fossil-based economy' to a more 'bio-based economy' are feasible on a larger scale. The users can create their own test process using the available modules for instance a bio-refining section, a bio-chemicals pilot installation, an advanced bioprocesses pilot installation and a separation technology installation.

Development of offshore tidal energy: EU contribution EUR 1.720.269

North-Holland is surrounded by water which makes it a suitable area for research on tidal energy. The objective of the project is to identify and lift barriers for the large scale implementation of offshore tidal energy. The consortium is formed by the Dutch Tidal Testing Centre in Den Oever and a balanced group of companies and research institutes. The project activities are among others:  development and testing of a floating platform for offshore tidal energy farms and research into the impact of tidal energy farms on the environment.

 

More information:

Regional Policy programme "West –Netherlands"