Operational Programme 'Småland and the Islands'

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


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On 9 August 2007, the European Commission approved a Regional Operational Programme for the region Småland and the Islands (Jönköping, Kronoberg, Kalmar and Gotland) in Sweden for the 2007-13 period. The Operational Programme falls within the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective framework and has a total budget of around €168 million. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €67 million, which represents approximately 3.6% of the total EU investment earmarked for Sweden under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

In the context of environmental protection, the Operational Programme aims to make use of the region's resources and thereby contribute to sustainable economic growth, development and competitiveness. This will allow the region to increase its adaptability and its capacity to meet future challenges. Furthermore, the Programme foresees actions for interregional cooperation.

The programme seeks to create 1200 new businesses and 4200 new jobs and to create a well-coordinated system for public transports in the region. The main aim of the support is, however, to invest in measures that:

  • increase access to employment, recreational activities, education, information and communication technology (ICT) and innovation
  • renew the business sector in the region by providing measures for clusters and networks.

2. Expected impact of investments

The Programme is expected to create 4200 new jobs and 1200 new businesses, divided equally between men and women. There will be 20 innovative research and development (R&D) projects for cooperation between industry, research institutions and the public sector. Another 10 projects will promote entrepreneurship, while 100 companies will participate in product development projects. In addition, 100 companies will work together on market enlargement and 56 projects will receive risk capital support. The Operational Programme aims to create five new transport and communications solutions to reduce commuting time and to increase cooperation between different modes of transport.

3. Priorities

The Regional Operational Programme for Småland and the Islands is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Accessibility [approximately 32.0% of total funding]: The purpose of this priority is to strengthen regional competitiveness by developing a programme area with a well-developed reliable infrastructure in order to achieve regional enlargement and strengthening with a minimum conceivable impact on the environment and on equal terms for men and women. The aim is to help achieve efficient communications (travel and infrastructure) for the business community and residents, taking into account the programme’s horizontal criteria, with the goal of expanding the business sector by reducing the number of labour market regions. Another aim is to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant by sectors through initiatives aimed at inter-modal solutions for passenger and freight traffic as well as initiatives related to the development and stimulation of new IT services and applications.

Priority 2: Innovation and entrepreneurship [approximately 64.0% of total funding]: This priority includes measures in the areas “Innovative environments and processes” and “Entrepreneurship”. The measures focus on renewal of the business sector and motivating people to start enterprises. The aim is to strengthen local and regional competitiveness by developing a programme area with competitive enterprises and strong entrepreneurship, to produce sustainable growth. The regional structural fund programme therefore wants to stimulate initiatives in which firms interact with the purpose of strengthening their competitiveness, supported by the public sector and universities/R&D.

Priority 3: Technical assistance [approximately 4.0% of total funding]: The aim is to support the management, monitoring and evaluation of the operational programme, and the associated communication and publicity activities.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Småland and the Islands'

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
Accessibility 27 081 558 42 358 334 55 337 328
Innovation and entrepreneurship 37 663 117 56 494 676 107 907 793
Technical assistance 2 697 695 2 697 695 5 395 390
Total 67 442 370 101 550 705 168 640 511