Operational Programme 'Castilla y Léon'

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


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On 28 November 2007, the European Commission approved the ERDF Operational Programme for Castilla y León under the Competitiveness Objective for the period 2007-13. The overall budget of the Programme amounts to some €1.2 billion. This includes EU investment from the ERDF of approximately €818 million, corresponding to about 3.5% of the ERDF is to be invested in Spain during the 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 help strengthen the innovation capabilities of businesses and further expand the technology and education infrastructure. Equal opportunities and environmental protection are also to be promoted, while sustainable urban development will see support targeted at different key areas.

The Programme also seeks to enhance competitive and innovative capabilities, particularly those of SMEs. Furthermore, investments in research and development (R&D) will contribute to raising the profile of Castilla y León as an ideal business location.

2. Expected impact of investments

The Programme aims to support technology-based new enterprises, promote projects on the rational use of energy and renewable energy sources, and create around 7000 jobs by stimulating productive investment. The Programme also plans to co-finance projects involving cooperation between science and business, and to contribute to stimulating more than €2 billion of private investments.

3. Priorities

The Castilla y Léon Regional Operational Programme is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Development of the Knowledge Economy (R&D&I: Information Society and ICTs) [approximately 9.6% of total funding]

The primary objective under this priority is to safeguard existing competitive enterprises and create favourable conditions for their expansion, business start-ups and relocations. The strategic approach covers financial assistance for investing in modern plants and technical and organisational innovations, as well as providing advice to both existing firms and new start-ups, thereby generating an integrated overall approach. Knowledge transfer to the economy and technological infrastructure will also be promoted in an effort to improve how R&D potential is used for business development.

Special attention is to be given to R&TD infrastructure (including physical plant, instrumentation and high-speed computer networks linking research centres) and centres of competence for specific technology.

Priority 2: Entrepreneurial Development and Innovation [approximately 26.6% of total funding]

The objective of this priority is to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in all sectors of the regional economy by supporting new processes, services, business networks and clusters, and by promoting cooperation networks between enterprises.

Special attention is given to financial engineering instruments and incubation facilities that are conducive to the R&TD capacity of SMEs and to encouraging entrepreneurship and the formation of new business, especially knowledge-intensive SMEs.

Priority 3: Environment, Natural Surroundings, Water Resources and Risk Prevention [approximately 22.8% of total funding]

With regard to the environment, the Programme seeks to improve the framework conditions for environmental infrastructure that until now have stood in the way of economic development, growth and employment. Specific needs have been identified following an analysis of the drinking water supply and wastewater facilities.

Water and infrastructure linked to biodiversity and investments in NATURA 2000 sites fall under this priority where this contributes to sustainable economic development.

Priority 4: Transport and Energy [approximately 30.4% of total funding]

This priority looks to promote transport infrastructure where the regional structure and integration in transregional networks is not only a key prerequisite to improving competitiveness overall, but also a basic requirement for achieving a better concentration of overall (infrastructure) support, with regard to improved accessibility between growth centres.

Investments will focus on railway infrastructures and strengthening secondary transport networks by improving links to TEN-T networks, regional railway hubs, airports and multimodal platforms.

In terms of energy, clean urban transport will be supported while investments will target solar and biomass as well as energy efficiency, co-generation and energy management.

Priority 5: Local and Urban Sustainable Development [approximately 10.1% of total funding]

Promotion of urban areas under this priority is a broad spectrum initiative targeting both existing problems and 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: Technical Assistance and Reinforcement of Institutional Capacity [approximately 0.5% 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 'Castilla y Léon'

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
Development of the Knowledge Economy (Information Society and ICTs) 90 247 232 22 561 813 112 809 045
Entrepreneurial Development and Innovation 218 968 294 93 843 555 312 811 849
Environment, Natural Surroundings, Water Resources and Risk Prevention 187 354 760 80 294 898 267 649 658
Transport and Energy 233 696 267 123 429 312 357 125 579
Local and Urban Sustainable Development 82 797 064 35 484 458 118 281 522
Technical Assistance and Reinforcement of Institutional Capacity 5 130 820 1 282 705 6 413 525
Total 818 194 437 356 896 741 1 175 091 178