Operational Programme 'Lower Saxony' (excluding Lüneburg)

For Lower Saxony (excluding Lüneburg) under the 'Regional Competitiveness and Employment' objective, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 9 August 2007, the European Commission approved the Operational Programme 2007-2013 for Lower Saxony (excluding Lüneburg). This programme involves Community support under the "Regional Competitiveness and Employment" objective. The programme's total budget is around €1.34 million and the Community contribution through the ERDF amounts to over €639 million, corresponding to approximately 2.5% of the total EU funds available for Germany under the cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

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 development strategy for Lower Saxony (excluding Lüneburg) attaches particular importance to achieving the political objectives of Lisbon and Gothenburg. Funding is granted on the basis of a clear list of quality criteria. The regions Braunschweig, Hannover und Weser-Ems will benefit from the support.

As in the Lüneburg region, competitiveness, in particular that of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is to be increased, innovativeness in universities, businesses and society boosted, and potential for tourism enhanced. In contrast to Lüneburg, however, improving basic infrastructures is not such an issue here, since these are already well developed.

2. The expected impact of the investment

The programme seeks, among other things, to create 2 400 jobs and safeguard 3 500, fund 300 new cooperation projects between the scientific and business communities and support 270 projects relating to integrated urban development schemes.

3. Priorities

In order to achieve the main objectives of the programme set out under 5, the Operational Programme has been divided into the following priorities:

Priority 1: Industrial competitiveness and employment, in particular with regard to SMEs [approx. 31.3% of total ERDF funding]

The areas of support under this priority are intended to increase businesses' ability to hold their own amid intensifying national and international competition in terms of location. This is to be achieved through supporting forward-looking investment, enhancing entrepreneurial potential and encouraging the setting-up of new businesses.

Priority 2: Innovative capacity and knowledge society [approx. 24.4% of total ERDF funding]

This priority is intended to make a lasting contribution to the Lisbon Strategy and strengthen endogenous potential for innovation in the assisted regions. In order to achieve these goals, a three-strand approach will be adopted, namely: stepping up research and development and increasing qualifications, boosting businesses' capacity for innovation, and promoting regional and sectoral cooperation structures.

Priority 3: Specific infrastructures for sustainable growth [approx. 25.5% of total ERDF funding]

This priority's strategy involves improving the economic infrastructure and the transregional accessibility of business sites and strengthening particular potential for tourism in selected cases. Support is planned for 25 tourism projects, inter alia. Education and training infrastructure, culture in general and the film and media sector are further areas of intervention.

Priority 4: Environment and sustainable urban development [approx. 15.7% of total ERDF funding]

The 270 integrated urban development projects and 15 projects concerning the recycling of fallow land will contribute significantly to the revitalisation and further development of urban areas, the improvement of the environment and the reduction of environmental risks.

Priority 5: Technical assistance [approx. 3.1% of total ERDF funding]

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

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Lower Saxony' (excluding Lüneburg)

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
Industrial competitiveness and employment, in particular with regard to SMEs 200 000 000 131 045 000 331 045 000
Capacity for innovation and knowledge society 155 769 613 91 034 613 246 804 226
Specific infrastructures for sustainable growth 163 000 000 180 390 000 343 390 000
Environment and sustainable urban development 100 000 000 83 772 000 183 772 000
Technical assistance 20 000 000 19 800 000 39 800 000
Total 638 769 613 506 041 613 1 144 811 226