Operational Programme 'Asturias'

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


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On 20 November 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the region of Asturias under the Convergence Objective for the period 2007-13. The overall budget of the Programme amounts to approximately €554 million. This includes EU investment from the ERDF of some €395 million, corresponding to about 1.7% of the ERDF financial package to be invested in Spain over the 2007-13 programming period.

1. Aim and purpose 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 Programme will ensure that positive trends continue for the main regional economic indicators, namely GDP, employment and labour productivity, thereby bringing them closer to the EU averages. Other aims of the EU investment include strengthening the research and development (R&D) carried out in the regions, reinforcing the innovation capabilities of businesses, bridging the isolation gap in terms of transport and preserving the natural environment. Urban sustainable development and social infrastructure are also to receive support under the Programme.

In terms of the region’s science-technology-enterprise system, investments will target R&D infrastructures, R&D projects in research organisations and enterprises directly involved in research.

2. Expected impact of investments

The region is looking to increase its research and development effort from 0.71% (2005) to 1.50% by 2013. The Programme will also provide support for increased use of Information Society infrastructures and services, with the percentage of frequent Internet users expected to grow from 49.8% (2006) to 81.98% by 2013.

The Programme should also contribute to creating about 13 000 jobs and stimulating more than €1.13 billion of private investments. The Programme will also focus efforts on protecting the natural environment and regional biodiversity, with an expected increase in the number of NATURA 2000 designated sites.

3. Priorities

The Asturias Regional Operational Programme is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Development of the Knowledge Economy (R&D&I: Information Society and ICTs) [approximately 9.3% of total funding]

The primary objective under this priority is to foster public and private investments in R&D projects in order to safeguard existing competitive enterprises and to create favourable conditions for their growth. Special attention will be paid to the Information Society and to services and applications for citizens (e-content, e-government and e-learning). R&D infrastructure and projects will also be a major focus under this priority.

Priority 2: Entrepreneurial Development and Innovation [approximately 25.9% of total funding]

The objective of this priority is to stimulate innovation, quality standards and entrepreneurial spirit across all sectors of the economy, e.g. new and innovate financial engineering.

Priority 3: Environment, Natural Surroundings, Water Resources and Risk Prevention [approximately 16.9% of total funding]

This priority focuses on developing projects aimed at improving infrastructures for drinking water, water treatment and water distribution. A further task is to promote infrastructures for biodiversity and investments in NATURA 2000 sites.

Priority 4: Transport and Energy [approximately 19.9% of total funding]

The aim here is to complete transport infrastructures, particularly railways, ports and regional and local roads.

Priority 5: Local and Urban Sustainable Development [approximately 13.9% of total funding]

The goal under this priority is to promote urban areas by addressing existing problems and developing the potential of inner city and suburban areas, thereby continuing the integrated development approach of the Community initiative URBAN (the URBAN acquis). Further goals include protecting and preserving cultural heritage in an effort to boost socio-economic development, and tapping into the potential of natural and cultural assets as a way of developing sustainable tourism.

Priority 6: Social Infrastructures [approximately 13.9% of total funding]

This priority targets support for children less than three years of age, and looks to provide more social infrastructures such as healthcare and educational facilities and centres designed for social activities.

Priority 7: Technical Assistance and Reinforcement of Institutional Capacity [approximately 0.2% of total funding]

Funding has been allocated for technical assistance in implementing the Programme. This covers preparation, administration, supervision, assessment, information and communication, studies, evaluations and monitoring.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Asturias'

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
Development of the Knowledge Economy (Information Society and ICTs) 41 201 353 10 300 341 51 501 694
Entrepreneurial Development and Innovation 100 328 264 42 997 830 143 326 094
Environment, Natural Surroundings, Water Resources and Risk Prevention 65 502 685 28 072 581 93 575 266
Transport and energy 71 577 029 38 541 475 110 118 504
Local and Urban Sustainable Development 54 055 793 23 166 772 77 222 565
Social infrastructures 61 471 971 15 367 995 76 839 966
Technical Assistance and Reinforcement of Institutional Capacity 1 078 097 269 524 1 347 621
Total 395 215 192 158 716 518 553 931 710