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France

Operational Programme 'Auvergne'

Programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective

On 19 October 2007 the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the Auvergne region in France for 2007-2013.

This Operational Programme comes under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective and has a total budget of about 623 million euros. The financing provided by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to nearly 207 million euros, representing about 1.4% of Community aid to France as part of the cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

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The strategy of the Operational Programme is based primarily on:

  • regional issues highlighted by identifying and analysing the region's potential;
  • the Community and national strategic framework establishing the principles for the allocation of Community funds.

Located in the centre of France's massif central, Auvergne is characterised by having a population which is both small and at the same time relatively evenly spread throughout the region, although it is now tending to concentrate in urban areas (including Clermont-Ferrand).

The region is faced with two challenges: falling population and renewal of the workforce on the one hand, and on the other hand reduced activity because of a growing number of businesses for sale and the need for restructuring and for new businesses in the sectors of the future. In order to meet these challenges, the appeal of Auvergne needs to be boosted by action in the areas of innovation, knowledge-based economy, competitiveness, traditional economic activities, employment and sustainable development. The ultimate objective is to achieve sustainable growth in Auvergne. This programme is also comes under the Lisbon Strategy and strategic Community guidelines.

2. Expected impact of the investment

The success of the programme will be assessed on the progress of the following indicators:

  • increasing the number of postgraduates, research workers, scientific and technical production and international activities by 10% between 2006 and 2013;
  • increasing the number of innovative businesses by 10% between 2006 and 2013;
  • increasing the number of business start-ups by 8% between 2006 and 2013;
  • extending broadband to 100%;
  • increasing the share of renewable energy sources from 14% to 20% by 2013;
  • purifying 75% water bodies in a poor condition by 2013;
  • reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 10% between 2006 and 2013;
  • creation of more than 1500 direct and indirect jobs.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme is centred on seven priorities:

Priority 1: Promoting innovation and the knowledge-based economy [about 29,5 % of total investment]

The aim of this priority is to support the development of innovation in businesses by encouraging:

  • investment;
  • collective action on competitiveness (including competitive clusters for meat and meat products, innovation in cereals and VIAMECA);
  • support for centres of excellence in R&D in Auvergne, such as life sciences and engineering, by fostering a business mentality and links between R&D and entrepreneurship.

Priority 2: Economic development and appeal of the region [about 15 % of total investment]

This priority complements the first and is divided into two types of activity:

  • funding of economic development in a context of changing economic conditions: creation or takeover of very small enterprises (VSEs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), access to advice and the business environment;
  • appeal of the region in terms of maintaining and developing activities and population.

Priority 3: Energy control and development of renewable energy sources [about 11 % of total investment]

Auvergne gives significant importance to energy control and to the development of renewable energy sources. The riches and quality of its countryside, the resulting impact of tourism and the search for an attractive quality of life justify the strategy of this priority in line with the competitiveness objectives of the programme, i.e.:

  • to foster awareness among and provide advice to those involved (private individuals, local authorities and businesses) in order to implement actions for energy control and to introduce an energy policy;
  • to provide various levels of support for the development of renewable energy sources.

Priority 4: Accessibility and appeal [about 25,4 % of total investment]

The primary objectives of this priority are:

  • to achieve broadband coverage of the region by connecting the most cut-off districts in hilly areas or the most remote rural areas;
  • to encourage and develop the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) by businesses and the general public;
  • to improve infrastructure links to multimodal and high-speed rail lines;
  • to promote intermodal and clean and sustainable transport services by using railway infrastructure and segregated transport networks.

Priority 5: Environment [about 13,5 % of total investment]

The environment is a major element in strategies for regional development. This priority takes the form of a twofold approach to enhancing and structuring protection policies. This priority will provide funding for actions:

  • to improve awareness of natural riches;
  • to restore natural areas;
  • to support professionals involved in environmental engineering;
  • to help businesses to adapt to sustainable development.

There will also be significant investment in the Puy-de-Dôme major site.

 

Priority 6: Attractive financial arrangements (JEREMIE) [about 4% of total investment]

Use of the JEREMIE initiative will make it possible to develop an overall financial strategy for the benefit of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the Auvergne region, by dealing with the existing shortcomings in terms of volume or instruments. A part of the arrangements will be devoted to strengthening the funding of innovative businesses, with another part focusing on traditional economic activities.

 

Priority 7: Technical assistance [about 1.4% of total investment]

Technical assistance allows the co-financing of management, monitoring, assessment, organisation, information and communication activities.

4. Managing Authority

Préfecture de la région Auvergne
18, boulevard Desaix
F-63033 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex
Tel.: (33-4) 73 98 62 80
E-mail.: secretaire-general@auvergne.pref.gouv.fr
Web: Préfecture de la région Auvergne

Financial and Technical information

Title : Operational Programme 'Auvergne'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007FR162PO004

Number of decision : C/2007/5220

Final approval date : 2007-10-19

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Innovation and knowledge-based economy 76 500 459 70 800 000 147 300 459
Economic development and appeal of the region 23 000 000 48 900 000 71 900 000
Energy 17 000 000 33 500 000 50 500 000
Accessibility and appeal 42 900 000 108 750 000 151 650 000
Environment 22 050 000 61 700 000 130 800 000
Attractive financial arrangements (JEREMIE) 18 000 000 7 200 000 25 200 000
Technical assistance 7 340 000 1 295 000 8 635 000
Total 206 790 459 332 145 000 585 985 459
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