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Panorama Inforegio

The quarterly magazine of the actors of regional development

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6/ 10


Local actors have their say

The ERDF and aid for SMEs
The example of the Development Institute of Murcia

Instituto de Fomento de Murcia

 

The Instituto de Fomento (Development Institute) of the Murcia region (Spain) was one of the earliest to use the global grant arrangement. It had already benefited from this ERDF-conceived instrument to assist businesses in the 1991-93 period. The Instituto remained the intermediary organisation responsible for the management of the funds and so wanted to continue using the arrangement in1994-99.The second grant amounted to EUR 113.4 million.

The Instituto's experience in managing the two global grants shows that this instrument is an appropriate form of assistance in that it allows SMEs to be assisted in an integrated manner. The global grant's flexible nature means that the specific problems encountered by firms can be quickly and efficiently fixed.

The ERDF and the Instituto played a decisive role in Murcia's industrial development in the 1994-99 programming period. The 1997 mid-term evaluation report pointed out that 29% of the industrial investment in Murcia in 1995 was linked to the global grant. This same report also underlined that, every million PTA provided by the ERDF generated private investment of PTA 8.3 million and an average overall investment of PTA 9.75 million.

The global grant has therefore had a significant impact on Murcia, making it possible to implement a wide range of projects, including the creation of several financial mechanisms to support SMEs, ranging from the conclusion of contracts with about twenty companies to facilitate their access to bank credit to the setting-up of a venture capital fund intended for the SMEs. In addition, almost 200 projects were undertaken in the field of research and technological development. A network of six centres offering industry-specific technology and support infrastructure were also created and quickly made operational.

In practical terms, the mid-term evaluation of 1997 also showed that INFO's global grant encouraged internal synergies between the various measures, and between them and the other development programmes financed by the regional, national or Community administrations. One could say that the various measures assisted through the global grant went through a process of mutual reinforcement, as did the global grant and the other public programmes.

The Murcia regional authorities are fully appreciative of the value of this form of ERDF assistance, which has improved the competitiveness of the region's SMEs and has had a significant impact on the regional economy. The evidence is there in their request for a new global grant, covering the entire 2000-06 period.

Patricio Valverde Megías
President of the Instituto de Fomento de la Región de Murcia

For more information, go to: http://www.ifrm-murcia.es/

Patricio Valverde Megias


 

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