Understanding the policy context

For the period 2007-2013, almost 25% of the Structural Funds (or €86 billion) were directed towards research and innovation. In these, €50 billion were allocated for R&D (including €6 billion assistance to SMEs, €3 billion support for SMEs in developing environment-friendly products and processes, €10 billion for infrastructure, €9 billion for investment in firms, €6 billion each for R&TD research centres and improvements in networks and €5 billion in developing human potential.

Thematic ex-ante conditionalities included in the legislative proposals urge Member States to fulfill certain conditions to be able to access funding for the period 2014-2020. For the research, technological development and innovation objective Member States have to create a national or regional research and innovation strategy, which sets out investment priorities, outlines measures to stimulate investment, and contains provisions on monitoring and review.

Smart growth, alongside inclusive and sustainable growth, is one of the key objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. Within this objective, Research, technological development and innovation is promoted though the Flagship Initiative “Innovation Union”.

[Relationship between Research and Innovation and health]


Developing Operational Programmes


Where to find it








Developing Projects

The Matching technologies and opportunities (MATEO) project brings together four European regions—Catalonia, Lombardia, North Brabant and South-West Bohemia—with the objective of boosting innovative processes in small businesses. One of its’ sub-projects, Tetrinno SMARTEX, helped small businesses in the textile sector to compete with foreign companies with cheaper production costs. Knowledge and practical solutions were shared regarding the use of smart fabrics and interactive textiles. Applications for these innovative textiles include clothes that will monitor the heart, thereby providing a new approach to healthcare and emergency services. The MATEO project received a contribution of €4.4 million from the ERDF for the period 2000-2006.

In Neratovice, Czech Republic, its 16 400 inhabitants are realizing that towns need no longer be synonymous with smog-filled skies and noisy traffic. A recent development coordinated by the nuclear research institute, Rez. introduced the Triple Hybrid Bus or TriHyBus. It is now circulating in the town and offers the passengers a more enjoyable, environmentally friendly mode of travel. With hydrogen as the fuel of the future, not only can urban dwellers enjoy cleaner air and less disturbing sound levels but they can also feel the health benefits as the risks of suffering from associated effects, such as asthma and high blood pressure, are greatly reduced. [Could also be used in low-carbon energy]


In Valetta, Malta, a new Life Science Center will open its doors towards the end of 2012. It will form a part of a proposed biotechnology park and is anticipated to bring benefits in the form of added employment opportunities, anticipated technological advancements and discoveries for the pharmaceutical/biotech and health sectors. The Centre’s location is also of strategic importance. It is a walking distance from the Mater Dei Hospital and the University of Malta, both potential sources of future cooperation and offering opportunities for shared resources. The anticipated cost of the project is €18 million, with a €15 million contribution from the ERDF for the 2007-2013 programming period.