Operational Programme 'Thüringen'

Under the Convergence Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 26 October 2007, the European Commission approved a Regional Operational Programme for the German Land Thüringen for the period 2007-13. The Programme involves Community support in the framework laid out for the Convergence Objective and has a total budget of around €1.97 billion. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €1.48 billion, which represents approximately 5.6% of the total EU investment earmarked for Germany under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

With local GDP per capita of 73% of the EU average, the aim is to support sustainable economic growth in the region by boosting innovation, research and technological development, encouraging capital investments, promoting attractive regions and guaranteeing environmental sustainability. This will contribute to generating wealth, reducing regional disparities and increasing the quality of life for people in the region. This approach will also help Thüringen strengthen its economic competitiveness and encourage the continuous transition towards a knowledge based economy. Finally, the Programme will substantially contribute towards achieving the Lisbon and Gothenburg objectives.

2. Expected impact of investments

In the area of research and development (R&D), the operational Programme is expected to include about 1080 projects, 200 of which will support cooperation between enterprises and research institutions, with another 70 directly contributing to the improvement of research infrastructure. It is expected that private investments of about €2.3 billion will be generated, in turn creating an estimated 7000 new jobs. About 300 ha of urban areas are expected to receive a boost, with investments targeting improved attractiveness and better regional accessibility. In terms of environmental protection, an area of about 200 ha is planned to be rehabilitated, with an additional 210 000 inhabitants being connected to wastewater treatment systems.

3. Priorities

The Programme is structured according to the following priorities:

Priority 1: Education, Research and Development, Innovation [approximately 31.1% of total funding]

This priority axis is focused on boosting the transition towards an enhanced knowledge-based economy and recognises the fact that some structural changes have already taken place in line with the revised Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs objectives. This transition process will be encouraged through support for the research and technological development (R&TD) activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and for research cooperation between enterprises and research institutions.

Priority 2: Increased Competitiveness of the Economy [approximately 37.8% of total funding]

This priority targets enterprise competitiveness and has a special focus on SMEs. A key aim is to remove the structural deficits of enterprises in Thüringen, such as low equity capital and low export quotas. Enterprise investments will also be supported through innovative financial instruments and access to new markets.

Priority 3: Sustainable Regional and Urban Development [approximately 14.6% of total funding]

The objective here is to support sustainable regional and urban development, taking into account economic, environmental, social and demographic aspects. Urban development activities are focused on towns with at least 10 000 inhabitants and will be part of integrated urban development concepts. Additionally, investments in transport infrastructure will improve the accessibility of regional centres.

Priority 4: Protection and Improvement of the Environment [approximately 15.2% of total funding]

This priority targets support at protecting and improving the environment. Increased ecological considerations in the decision-making processes of enterprises will be encouraged in an effort to ensure sustainable production patterns and less use of natural resources as inputs. Water areas will be protected by boosting environmental infrastructure. Efforts will also target rehabilitation of the physical environment and reductions in land use.

Priority 5: Technical Assistance [approximately 1.3% of total funding]

Technical assistance will be provided for implementing the Programme. Financial support is also available and covers administration, monitoring (including environmental monitoring), evaluation and control.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Thüringen'

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
Education, Research and Development, Innovation 459 000 000 153 000 000 612 000 000
Increased Competitiveness of the Economy 558 450 000 186 150 000 744 600 000
Sustainable Regional and Urban Development 216 000 000 72 000 000 288 000 000
Protection and Improvement of the Environment 224 250 000 74 750 000 299 000 000
Technical Assistance 19 987 909 6 700 000 26 687 909
Total 1 477 687 909 492 600 000 1 970 287 909