Operational Programme 'Valencia'

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


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On 29 November 2007, the European Commission approved an operational programme for the Autonomous Community of Valencia 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 €2.2 billion. The financing provided by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) totals around €1.3 billion, representing some 3.8% of total 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 on:

  • regional issues highlighted by the 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 region in which the Autonomous Community of Valencia is located has chosen to place sustainable and socially integrated development at the heart of its strategy, i.e.:

  • the improvement of regional competitiveness, based on investment in the field of communication and the reinforcement of research, production and the dissemination of innovation (particularly innovation in the private sector), as well as access to, and the dissemination of, information and knowledge;
  • increased productivity and diversification of production structures;
  • regional balance, integration, environmental protection and the management of water resources.

The strategic objective is for the Autonomous Community of Valencia to acquire sufficient physical and technological capital to strengthen its international competitiveness.

  • In relation to the period 2000-2006, the Autonomous Community of Valencia has managed to reduce a number of deficits, thereby achieving relative prosperity which has allowed it to leave the Convergence objective and move towards joining the "Competitiveness - phasing in" regions. It must now meet new challenges, such as:
  • the labour market (a high unemployment rate, particularly among women and young people, combined with a low rate of participation);
  • issues linked to emigration (immigration) (training, social, economic and regional integration);
  • infrastructure needs related to both optimising communications and telecommunications and ensuring the availability of water resources needed to prevent obstacles to development.

The programme aims to make a significant contribution to achieving the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy, with considerable support being provided for research, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship. A number of programme actions will focus on the better provision and accessibility of transport services in the trans-European and regional networks and also the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, the management and distribution of drinking water and the treatment of waste water.

Special efforts will be made to promote sustainable development in urban areas and in the mountainous or outlying areas of the region.

2. Expected impact of the investments

The expected impact of the programme can be estimated as follows:

  • 22 865 jobs created;
  • an increase in expenditure on research and development (R&D) / GDP by around 264% (from 0.99% at present to 2.61% in 2013);
  • private investment of almost €4 billion;
  • an increase in the number of businesses benefiting from environmentally friendly management systems (certified ISO 14001 and/or EMAS) by 160% (in other words, the aim is to increase the number of businesses with ISO 14001 certification from the current 442 to 711 in 2013).

3. Priorities

The operational programme is structured around six priorities:

Priority 1: Development of the knowledge-based economy, R&D&I and the information society [around 17% of total investment]

This priority is geared to the region's technological convergence with the European Union, focusing on actions linked to the promotion of research, innovation, the development and dissemination of technologies and the information society. In particular, it will be based on:

  • the encouragement of research, development and innovation (R&D&I) (mainly through businesses);
  • the strengthening of information and communication technologies (ICT) as an instrument for improving productivity.

Priority 2: Business development and innovation [around 24% of total investment]

The second priority relates to the provision of assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of technological and organisational innovation, internationalisation, access to financial resources for productive investments, technological services, etc. It is mainly based on:

  • increased private investment in terms of physical, technological and human capital in order to improve the productivity of businesses;
  • assistance for investment by businesses, innovation and the diversification of production;
  • encouraging and providing assistance for internationalisation;
  • the information society;
  • assistance for entrepreneurial initiative.

Priority 3: Environment, water resources and risk prevention [around 27% of total investment]

The areas for action under this priority relate in particular to:

  • the recovery of land and alternative uses for it which offer significant "added value";
  • the reduction of risks to the population, and to habitats, linked to flooding and silting;
  • sustainable development, by ensuring the availability of clean, high-quality water resources;
  • improved irrigation efficiency;
  • the promotion of biodiversity and the protection of nature.

Priority 4: Transport and energy [around 22% of total investment]

The main actions aim at improving infrastructures in the field of railway connections, metropolitan infrastructures and intermodal integration with the region's airports and ports. These actions relate to assistance for the main railway, port and airport communication infrastructures and the promotion of intermodal transport and transport centres for travellers and of the transport of goods.

Priority 5: Local and urban sustainable development [around 8.5% of total investment]

The main actions focus on balanced development in the region. They are based on:

  • development assistance in rural areas;
  • improvement in the quality of tourism services as a driving force behind rural development;
  • the promotion of regional cohesion, using integrated rural and urban regeneration projects aimed at small and medium-sized municipalities;
  • the reinforcement of urban development as a means of achieving social cohesion.

Priority 6: Technical assistance [around 1.5% of total investment]

Technical assistance must facilitate the strengthening of administrative capacity to use funding and the co-financing of management, monitoring, evaluation, coordination, information and communication activities.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Valencia'

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-based economy (R&D&i, information society and ICT) 190 248 850 190 248 850 380 497 700
Business development and innovation 305 315 929 232 493 011 537 808 940
Environment, water resources and risk prevention 391 902 925 211 824 140 603 727 065
Transport and energy 297 957 693 199 686 453 497 644 146
Sustainable local and urban development 116 543 900 72 942 472 189 486 372
Technical assistance 24 371 250 6 092 814 30 464 064
Total 1 326 340 547 913 287 740 2 239 628 287