Operational Programme 'La Rioja'

Programme under the 'Regional competitiveness and employment' objective


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On 20 November 2007, the European Commission approved an operational programme for the Autonomous Community of La Rioja in Spain covering the period 2007-2013.

This operational programme comes under the "Regional competitiveness and employment" objective and has a total budget of around €65 million. The funding provided by the European Union via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €33 million, which represents about 0.1% of the EU's total investment in Spain in the context of the cohesion policy 2007-2013.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The strategy for the operational programme is mainly based on:

  • the regional challenges highlighted by the diagnosis and analysis of the territory's potential;
  • the results of the previous phases of Community programming;
  • the Community strategic guidelines and the national strategic framework, which set out the principles for allocation of Community funds.

The Autonomous Community of La Rioja has chosen to place the knowledge economy and the encouragement of entrepreneurship in all sectors of the regional economy at the heart of its innovation strategy. Environment, risk prevention and sustainable urban development are also part of this choice. The ultimate aim is to strengthen the competitiveness of the regional system as a whole.

In order to develop its competitiveness and productivity the Autonomous Community's production fabric, characterised by the presence of a large number of micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), requires emphasis to be placed on boosting modernisation, research and innovation capacities. With this in mind, the programme aims to improve the technology transfer mechanisms between public research centres and enterprises so as to enable the Autonomous Community to make better use of all the potential at its disposal.

The programme aims to make a significant contribution to the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy (78.9% of Community resources), with substantial support for research, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship.

An significant part of the programme will concern:

  • the protection of the infrastructures linked to biodiversity;
  • the drawing-up of plans and measures for prevention and management of natural hazards (17.2% of Community resources).

The programme will also encompass measures to promote sustainable urban development (3.4% of Community resources).

2. Expected impact of the investments

The expected outcome of the programme is based on the results to be achieved:

  • the number of research, development and innovation projects co-financed, estimated at 172;
  • the number of beneficiary enterprises, estimated at 6 320;
  • the number of jobs created, estimated at around 21.

3. Priorities

The operational programme is divided into four priorities:

Priority 1: Knowledge economy, innovation and business development [approx. 79% of total investment]

This priority, devoted to promotion of research, innovation, modernisation, development and dissemination of new technologies, will be implemented by boosting and networking the resources already present in the territory and improving these resources.

Special attention will be paid to:

  • research, development and innovation programmes in close cooperation with enterprises, universities and development research centres;
  • dissemination of technologies with a positive impact on the environment;
  • strengthening productive areas of regional interest;
  • employment growth and enhancing job skills.

It also aims to stimulate the growth of micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by developing their innovative potential to enable them to gain access to new markets in a globalised economic context.

Priority 2: Environment and risk prevention [approx. 17% of total investment]

This priority aims to foster the development of infrastructures linked to biodiversity and investment in the “Natura 2000” sites and other protected natural areas. Another aim is to draw up plans and measures for prevention and management of natural hazards.

Priority 3: Sustainable urban development [approx. 3.5% of total investment]

This priority aims to put in place an urban development programme to support the introduction of participative, integrated and sustainable strategies in order to cope with the concentration of economic, environmental and social problems in urban areas.

Priority 4: Technical assistance [approx. 0.5% of total investment]

Technical assistance must permit the cofinancing of management, monitoring, evaluation, organisation, information and communication activities.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'La Rioja'

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 economy, innovation and business development 25 750 187 25 750 187 51 500 374
Environment and risk prevention 5 618 292 5 618 292 11 236 584
Sustainable urban development 1 129 757 1 129 757 2 259 514
Technical assistance 123 859 123 859 247 718
Total 32 622 095 32 622 095 65 244 190