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EU Structural funds

Research and high-tech activities are highly concentrated in the core regions of the EU. Approximately half of total research expenditure goes to 30 regions out of 254. The majority of the ESFRI Roadmap initiatives are located in some 10 Member States. Disparities between regions in business research expenditure are even wider. Structural Funds play a substantial role to help all regions build research and innovation capacities corresponding to their situation and priorities. This approach is reflected in the Commission’s Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion Policy, which expects the Structural Funds to fully back the implementation of the Partnership for Growth and Jobs.

In the period 2007-2013, cohesion policy will benefit from 35.7% of the total EU budget or €347 billion (current prices). Out of that amount €86 billion have been allocated to innovation: Research and Innovation including infrastructures, Entrepreneurship, ICT development and human capital actions. Innovation is one of the key aspects in applying Structural Funds. The European Regional Innovation Scoreboard  provides indicators in the context of the Innovation Union.


Optimizing synergies between ESIF and H2020

3 July 2014

A new Guide on Synergies (PDF icon 2MB) between European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and other innovation and competitiveness related EU programmes is now available.

The purpose of the guidance is to facilitate for policy-makers and implementation bodies to comply with the Common Provisions Regulation for ESIF that requires that synergies have to be built into smart specialisation strategies (see annex 1, point 4) and that synergies mechanisms have to be specified in the relevant ESIF programmes. Also the implementing bodies involved in other EU programmes can find practical advice on how to optimize synergies.

Third pillar of ELI in Hungary gets the go ahead

10 May 2014

On 8th May 2014, the European Commission has approved an investment of € 111 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the building of the third part of the cutting edge pan-European Laser research hub ELI, Extreme Light Infrastructure. The project, which uses super-short laser pulses, involves the installation of state-of-the art technology at the facility to be built near the University of Szeged in Hungary. The two first facilities of this pioneering European research consortium are currently being built in the Czech Republic and Romania and are expected to be completed at the end of 2015.

The Commission decision approves the ERDF contribution for the 1st phase of the ELI-ALPS facility under the programming period 2007-2013. The total costs of the project (including national contribution) amount to €130.5 million. The second phase of this project concerning the instalment of the scientific technology will be financed by the EU during the 2014-2020 programming period. The research hub is expected to have its full research capacity by 2018.


ELI Delivery Consortium

Second pillar of ELI gets the Commission's go ahead

On 18 September 2012 the European Commission approved an initial investment of almost €180 million for Extreme Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics, ELI-NP. The research infrastructure to be built near Bucharest will support ground- breaking fundamental physics, new nuclear physics and astrophysics as well as material science and life sciences such as nuclear medicine, new radiography and hadron therapy methods. Researchers will also be working on new ways to handle nuclear materials and radioactive waste. The organisation behind the Romanian ELI project is the 'Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering' (IFIN-HH). ELI-NP is expected to be operational in 2015.

Regional Policy - EU-funded 'Major Projects'
ELI project
ELI: when scientific excellence contributes to Europe’s cohesion - success story

ELI Beamlines supported by the European Regional Development Fund in Czech Republic

On 20th April 2011 the European Commission approved, ELI Beamlines for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund in the Central Bohemia region of Czech Republic. The ELI Beamlines is located in Dolní Břežany near Prague. It is the first of the three pillars of ELI, Extreme Light Infrastructure. The other two ELI sites will be built in Hungary and Romania. The ELI Beamlines facility will pioneer a number of fields of research using ultra-high intensity lasers. The center should become operational at the beginning of the year 2016.

ELI Beamlines was the first large project of the Operational Programme 'Research and Development for Innovation' to be approved. The EU financial contribution amounted to € 236 million.


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