Operational Programme 'Limousin region'

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Operational Programme - 'Regional competitiveness and employment' objective


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On 2 August 2007 the European Commission approved the operational programme for Community assistance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the "Regional competitiveness and employment" objective in the Limousin region for the period 2007-2013. The programme's total budget is EUR 567 million, including a Community contribution of EUR 127 million via the ERDF, which represents a Community cofinancing rate of approximately 22.4%.

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment

The Limousin is a very rural region (723 800 inhabitants) of France. The ERDF programme for 2007-2013 was drawn up with a view to helping achieve the Lisbon Strategy's economic competitiveness and employment objectives by creating conditions to promote innovation and providing research bodies with the resources to develop with regional competitiveness in mind, while still small in scale. The overall level of cofinancing for the Lisbon Strategy's competitiveness and employment objectives is 63.65% of the ERDF allocation.

The region can rely on existing poles of competitiveness in the "technical ceramics" sector (there is a European ceramics centre in Limoges) and the "opto-electronics" sector (a merger of the fields of optics and electronics) but also on knowledge transfer tools and technological support tools.

With regard to the competitiveness of Limousin businesses, the SME sector (small and medium-sized enterprises) is characterised by a low awareness of innovation and an ageing population of business owners. On the whole, there are few managerial positions and business support services are still under-represented. Business competitiveness and employment therefore need to be improved, while at the same time promoting business start-ups and business-oriented services.

The population of the Limousin region also declined throughout the 20th century, with the departure of many young people and a significant ageing of its population.

The challenge in terms of attractiveness is to improve rail accessibility (high-speed line Limoges-Poitiers to link up with the TGV Atlantique Paris-Bordeaux) and to enhance conditions with a view to attracting new populations.

The Limousin also has a natural and environmental potential that is attractive to urban dwellers in search of nature. The attractiveness of this environment needs to be developed by preserving it and enhancing it, but also by helping to resolve the major environmental issues.

Given its small size, the Limousin wants to establish and develop partnerships with other French and European regions by joining networks for the exchange of best practice in order to develop new partnerships, especially in the areas of R&D and innovation.

2. Estimated impact of EU investment

Community funding should help in particular to:

  • Enhance the potential of training/research/innovation by promoting increased expenditure in this sector from EUR 125 million at present to EUR 190 million by 2015. This should help to increase the number of researchers in the Limousin region from 820 at the beginning of the programming period to 1 080 in 2015, with 113 to 160 patents filed per year.
  • Increase the number of business start-ups by 4% during the programming period and increase the percentage of managerial positions from 26% to 31%.
  • Improve the quality of the environment and ensure sustainable development for the Limousin region by reducing its contribution to greenhouse gases to 0.63 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • Make the region more attractive by increasing broadband Internet coverage from 87.8% to 100% in SMEs and from 83.7% to 99% in households by 2015. 

3. Priorities

The operational programme is divided into the following priority areas:

    1) Enhance the potential of training/research/innovation and of technology transfer

    2) Develop the competitiveness of Limousin businesses and employment

    3) Enhance the attractiveness of the region

    4) Improve the quality of the environment and ensure sustainable development for the Limousin

    5) Facilitate interregional and international cooperation partnerships

    6) Technical assistance.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Limousin region'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Enhance the potential of training/research/innovation and of technology transfer 30 300 000 58 236 508 88 536 508
Develop the competitiveness of businesses and employment 35 000 000 35 000 000 70 000 000
Enhance the attractiveness of the region 38 000 000 80 000 000 118 000 000
Improve the quality of the environment and ensure sustainable development for the Limousin 16 340 000 37 000 000 53 340 000
Facilitate interregional and international cooperation partnerships 4 000 000 4 000 000 8 000 000
Technical assistance 3 619 135 2 412 757 6 031 892
Total 127 259 135 216 649 265 343 908 400