Operational Programme 'Cantabria'

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


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On 7 December 2007 the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the Autonomous Community of Cantabria (Spain) for the period 2007–2013.

This Operational Programme comes under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective, with a total budget of some 178 million euros. Assistance from the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to around 89 million euros, representing approximately 0.3% of Community contributions in Spain under the cohesion policy for 2007–2013.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

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

  • regional issues highlighted by an identification and 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, which establish the principles for the allocation of European funding.

The main aim of the operational programme is to develop productivity and research, development and innovation (R&D&I) capacity in order to achieve technological and social convergence with the European Union's more advanced regions.

The programme aims to contribute significantly to the Lisbon strategy objectives, with significant support for the knowledge-based economy, innovation and entrepreneurship.

A significant number of programme actions will target the environment and risk prevention, with efforts to improve sustainable local and urban development.

2. Expected impact of the investments

The programme objectives may be estimated as follows:

  • 1 306 jobs created;
  • 2 464 R&D&I projects co-financed;
  • a "multiplier effect" (on private investment) of 24.87 million euros.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme has four priorities:

Priority 1: Knowledge-based economy, innovation and development of enterprises [approximately 80% of total investment]

R&D&I policies are a central element in the process of renewing the Lisbon Agenda, as an instrument for increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the European economy.

The basic objective is to invest effectively in R&D&I in order to achieve tangible results in terms of regional development, as this is one of the region's weaknesses. In addition, existing potential deserves to be developed and monitored in the future.

Under the programme, priority will be given to projects linked to aspects such as eco-innovation, clean technologies or environmental improvements in production processes.

Priority 2: Environment and risk prevention [around 16% of total investment]

Improvement, conservation and protection of the environment constitute a priority for the programme, in parallel with improving and consolidating the region's attractiveness in order to increase tourism and investment. The programme also aims to contribute to economic, social and territorial cohesion by promoting the creation of a sustainable development model to improve human well-being and quality of life.

The activities to be undertaken by the Autonomous Community of Cantabria will require a considerable increase in population at certain times of the year in order to meet the demand for services while preserving existing environmental richness.

The programme will aim to promote those enterprises playing a driving role in development which respect the environment and use it to power the economy. In this sense, water resources are a significant factor in regional development, affecting the location of activities in certain parts of the territory.

Water resources therefore have a strategic value in maintaining ecological balances and conserving the environment, as well as for the health and quality of life of the population and the development of production activities.

Priority 3: Sustainable local and urban development [around 3.3% of total investment]

The objectives are to improve competitiveness and achieve a better balance in development between economically strong towns and the rest of the urban network through actions combining economic development, the promotion of employment under conditions of equality between women and men, social inclusion and environmental recovery and preservation. More specifically, the objectives include:

  • promoting initiatives by employers, local employment and community development;
  • re-establishing the physical environment, by rehabilitating former industrial sites while conserving and developing the historical and cultural heritage;
  • strengthening social cohesion by promoting social, cultural and economic integration.

The beneficiary authorities under this operational programme will promote the implementation of co-financed projects by means of an integrated analysis bringing together environmental, social, cultural and economic objectives.

Priority 4: Technical assistance [around 0.7% of total investment]

This priority meets the following needs:

  • achieving greater effectiveness in programme management;
  • ensuring appropriate conditions for programme monitoring, control and evaluation;
  • carrying out information and publicity activities to disseminate knowledge of the possibilities offered by the programme to potential final beneficiaries and to public opinion in general;
  • facilitating cooperation between the administrations responsible for the programme, particularly with regard to the computerised management system.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Cantabria'

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 development of undertakings 71 022 598 71 022 598 142 045 196
Environment and risk prevention 14 358 334 14 358 334 28 716 668
Sustainable local and urban development 3 000 000 3 000 000 6 000 000
Technical assistance 649 941 649 941 1 299 882
Total 89 030 873 89 030 873 178 061 746