Operational Programme 'Baden-Württemberg'

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


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On 8 November 2007, the European Commission approved the Operational Programme for Baden-Württemberg for the 2007-2013 programming period of the European Regional Development Fund. This programme involves Community support for Baden-Württemberg under the "Regional Competitiveness and Employment" objective. The programme's total budget is around €287 million and the Community assistance through the ERDF amounts to around €143 million, representing approximately 0.5% of the total EU funds available for Germany in 2007-2013 under the cohesion policy.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

In accordance with the Lisbon Strategy, the primary goal of the support is to strengthen regional competitiveness and to create and secure permanent jobs through economic growth.

The Baden-Württemberg ERDF programme is intended to consistently boost the Land's competiveness and innovativeness through an integrated approach, in order to guarantee and build on employment and sustainable development in accordance with the Lisbon/Gothenburg Strategy. Equal opportunities and environmental protection are also to be promoted and support given to sustainable urban and municipal development. Special attention is to be given to the challenge presented by demographic trends when implementing the support measures.

The operational programme seeks to enhance competitive and innovative capabilities, and particularly those of SMEs. Investment in research and networks and development of clusters are aimed at further raising the profile of Baden-Württemberg as a business location.

2. Expected impact of the investments

Among other things, the programme aims to grant direct investment aid to some 385 new SMEs and to support around 120 projects in the area of research and technological development with the participation of several businesses and/or research institutions. In addition, the programme plans to support around 845 projects relating to environmentally friendly products or production processes. Particular attention is to be paid to resource protection and risk avoidance with a view to mitigating the effects of climate change. Moreover, around 20% of the budget has been reserved for four cities selected by Baden-Württemberg, namely: Mannheim, Pforzheim, Heilbronn and Villingen-Schwenningen. The ERDF funds are intended to contribute to strengthening the cities as business locations and increasing employment as part of an integrated urban development plan for sustainable development.

3. Priorities

In order to achieve the main objectives of the programme set out under 4, the Operational Programme of Baden-Württemberg (ERDF) for 2007-2013 has been divided into the following priorities:

Priority 1: Innovation, knowledge-based economy and clusters [approx. 45.6% of total ERDF funding]

This priority receives the most funding and is the most important aspect of the operational programme for increasing competitiveness and employment. Its strategic aims are: reinforcing the existing research and development structure, tapping into new potential for innovation, further developing drivers of innovation such as economic clusters and business networks and removing barriers to innovation. The strengthening of the research and development structure seeks to focus on enhancing innovative environments for businesses and improving the transfer of knowledge.

In this connection, particular emphasis should be given to establishing new innovation-based businesses and strengthening recently established ones.

Priority 2: Sustainable urban and municipal development [approx. 27.4% of total ERDF funds]

This priority's strategic approach is to prepare a package of economic infrastructure measures aimed at boosting growth potential – accompanied by measures tailored specifically to SMEs to ease access to external finance for selected urban centres and pilot municipalities – incorporating environmental and social aspects in an overall concept so as to enable support to be provided which is tailored to local requirements and developments and therefore adequate for the purpose and capable of forming synergies with the priority 1 measures. Given the positive experiences with the Community initiative URBAN in Mannheim in the programming period 2000-2006, the integrated urban development approach is to be continued.

In Mannheim, Pforzheim, Heilbronn und Villingen-Schwenningen, inner-city projects which contribute to bringing local strengths and development potential into play and removing possible obstacles in the four main urban centres will above all be supported under the motto "sustainable urban development. All this will be complemented by a programme encouraging the founding of new businesses.

The pilot project, EU beacon projects (EULE), is aimed at the sustainable integrated development of municipalities and municipal associations. In its selection of a maximum of ten municipalities or municipal associations, Baden-Württemberg will be exploring new avenues. The best pilot project will be identified by means of a selection procedure.

Priority 3: Resource protection and risk prevention [approx. 23.5% of total ERDF funding]

This priority aims to promote measures offering particular scope for linking environmental and economic development objectives. In particular, the use of renewable and geothermal energy sources and other environmental technologies and increased energy efficiency contribute to climate and resource protection and at the same time harbour great potential for innovation and creating added value, generating quality jobs and further strengthening the highly competitive environmental technology cluster. The promotion of energy-saving and resource-efficient technologies and the use of renewable energy sources is planned. In addition, this series of measures will promote targeted investments in connection with the development, production and use of resource-efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.

Priority 4: Technical assistance [approx. 3.5% of total ERDF funding]

Resources are also earmarked for technical assistance to implement the programme. Preparation, administration, support, assessment, information and monitoring measures for the operational programme will be supported.

Moreover, it should also be possible to allocate part of the ERDF funds to testing out new support methods and practices. These experimental possibilities are to serve as trials for projects and concepts, in order to select those that are successful to be implemented more widely in later years of the operational programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Baden-Württemberg'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Innovation, knowledge-based economy and clusters 65 385 068 56 135 068 121 520 136
Sustainable urban and municipal development 39 289 000 39 289 000 78 578 000
Resource protection and risk prevention 33 690 000 33 690 000 67 380 000
Technical assistance 5 036 000 5 036 000 10 072 000
Total 143 400 068 134 150 068 277 550 136