Operational Programme 'Aragon'

Programme under the 'Regional competitiveness and employment' objective co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 20 November 2007, the European Commission approved an operational programme for the Aragon region in Spain for the period 2007-2013.

This Operational Programme comes under the "Regional competitiveness and employment" objective and has a total budget of some €326 million. The financing provided by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) totals around €163 million, representing some 0.5% of Community contributions in support of Spain under the cohesion policy 2007-2013.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The strategy of the operational programme is based in particular on:

  • regional issues identified by analysis of the region’s potential;
  • the gains achieved during the previous stages of the Community programme;
  • the Community’s strategic guidelines and the national strategic framework, defining the principles for the allocation of Community funding.

Innovation, the knowledge-based economy and the encouragement of entrepreneurship in all sectors are at the heart of the regional development strategy of the region of Aragon.

The environment, risk prevention and sustainable urban development are also priorities. The ultimate aim is to reinforce the overall competitiveness of the regional system.

The production structures of the region of Aragon are characterised by the marked influence of the tertiary and industrial sectors. There are also a number of highly specialised production structures in the field of transport and food, and many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly micro-enterprises.

In order to develop the competitiveness of these sectors, emphasis is placed on increased modernisation, research and innovation capacity. The programme therefore aims to improve the mechanisms for technological transfers between public research centres and businesses so as to help the region to better exploit its full potential. The programme aims to contribute significantly to achieving the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy, with considerable support being provided for research, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, the programme will also focus on the promotion and protection of infrastructures linked to biodiversity and the development of plans and measures to prevent and manage natural risks. Actions to promote sustainable urban development, culture and tourism will also be taken.

2. Expected impact of the investments

Programme implementation is based on the results to be achieved:

  • 1 145 co-financed research and development (R&D) projects;
  • 3 206 recipient businesses;
  • 1 879 jobs created.

3. Priorities

The operational programme is structured around four priorities:

Priority 1: Knowledge-based economy, innovation and entrepreneurial development [around 81% of total investment]

This priority, centred on the promotion of research, innovation, modernisation and the development and dissemination of technologies, is achieved by strengthening and creating networks between the resources already available in the region and by improving these resources. Special attention will be paid to R&D programmes and the information society in close cooperation with businesses, universities and research centres for the development and dissemination of technologies which have a positive impact on the environment, the strengthening of productive zones of regional interest, growth and skills development.

The aim behind this priority is also to promote the growth of micro-enterprises and SMEs through the development of their innovation potential and their entrepreneurship in order to allow them to access new markets in the globalised economy.

Priority 2: Environment and risk prevention [around 6.5% of total investment]

Under this priority, the focus is on encouraging the development of plans and measures to prevent and manage natural risks, the establishment of efficient energy and water management systems and the promotion of the development of infrastructures linked to biodiversity and the protection and enhancement of natural heritage.

Priority 3: Sustainable urban development [around 11% of total investment]

Two types of action are envisaged here. On the one hand, an urban development programme is introduced to support participative, integrated and sustainable strategies for dealing with the concentration of economic, environmental and social problems in an urban area. On the other hand, measures are implemented to protect and enhance cultural heritage as potential for the development of sustainable tourism.

Priority 4: Technical assistance [around 1.5% of total investment]

Technical assistance facilitates the co-financing of management, monitoring, evaluation, coordination, information and communication activities.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Aragon'

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
Knowledge-based economy, innovation and entrepreneurial development 131 763 531 131 763 531 263 523 062
Environment and risk prevention 10 706 497 10 706 497 21 412 994
Sustainable urban development 18 506 275 18 506 275 37 012 550
Technical assistance 2 127 001 2 127 001 4 254 002
Total 163 103 304 163 103 304 326 202 608