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The Bremen ERDF Programme 2007 – 13

The state of Bremen is again benefiting from assistance from the European structural funds in the 2007-2013 funding period. € 142 million has been allocated from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the two cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven under the “Bremen ERDF Operational Programme 2007 – 2013”. The European funding has to be topped up with national funds. For the first time, the financing of the Bremen ERDF Programme 2007 – 2013 is including private-sector money. In total, including the national co-financing (approx. € 101 million from the public sector and just over € 78 million from the private sector), almost € 322 million is available for the implementation of the programme.

When the ERDF programme was drawn up, the existing situation in the state of Bremen was assessed in terms of economic, social and ecological criteria. On the basis of these results, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks of the state of Bremen were ascertained and contrasted. An assistance strategy was derived from this, with a view to developing greater competitiveness in Bremen as a region and thus increasing both productivity and the employment rate.

A need for action in the field of economic policy is primarily to be found in the areas of investment and innovation, and in terms of the urban structure.

The thematic and financial emphasis of the programme is on the ongoing development and implementation of Bremen’s regional innovation strategy (the “InnoVision 2010” programme).

InnoVision 2010

The "InnoVision 2010" Programme, Bremen’s innovation strategy
The intention of Bremen’s "InnoVision 2010" Programme is to make Bremen one of Germany’s top ten locations for technology by 2010. This aim is taking up the European "Lisbon Strategy". Under the "Lisbon Agenda", the European Union has set itself the goal of developing Europe into the world’s most competitive economic area.
The three main pillars of the InnoVision 2010 Programme are:

  • strengthening existing and fostering new clusters of excellence in fields of innovation
    ;expanding research and development capacities and corresponding training courses in application-related fields
    ;creating a suitable environment to foster innovation.

On the one hand, the strategy of the Bremen ERDF Programme 2007 – 2013 is based on support for a transfer of knowledge and technology in the region and a strengthening of the adaptability of companies and the economic structure in general. At the same time, competitive urban structures are to be safeguarded and strengthened. Overall, the aim is to make Bremen and Bremerhaven more attractive both for companies and for the cities’ residents and visitors.

With regard to the specific implementation of the assistance strategy, two “priority axes” (conceptual priorities) have been defined, and these in turn are broken down into various strands of support. The individual projects are then fitted into this programme structure.

There follows a brief presentation of the programme structure.

Priority axis 1: Promoting growth – advancing innovation and knowledge

In the "Innovative Technologies" strand, innovative technologies and their development are supported – not least in co-operation with the state’s academic institutions.

In the "Knowledge and Technology Transfer" strand, co-operation between commerce and academia is to be further expanded and the transfer of knowledge and technology facilitated. The technology and start-up centres are to be further developed and strengthened in a targeted fashion. Networks for the exchange of experience and skills are to contribute towards pro-active knowledge management.

The support instruments used in the ["Corporate Performance and Adaptability"] strand are intended to enhance the ability of Bremen’s companies to adapt to ever shorter cycles of innovation, and to boost their performance in getting the market to accept innovations. This strand is focused on two points: firstly, the challenges related to the demographic change (e.g. higher labour participation rate of older workers, higher female employment) are to be regarded as opportunities and utilised to improve the competitiveness of companies. Secondly, companies and workforces are to be made more aware of the general need for technological change and the constant review of production structures, and are to be placed in a position to actively shape this change. This improvement of corporate performance and adaptability is intended to boost corporate competitiveness, which in turn will safeguard existing and create new jobs.

The "Corporate Investment Promotion" strand represents a significant element, particularly with regard to the strengthening of small and medium-sized enterprises in the state of Bremen. The aim of the support is to create new and to safeguard existing competitive long-term jobs, to strengthen and develop small and medium-sized enterprises, and to bring about greater diversity in the economic structure.

Priority axis 2: Activating urban commercial and residential areas

The "Suburban centres and neighbourhood development" strand aims specifically at bringing about an improvement in the quality of the living and working conditions in individual areas of the cities and thus at helping to improve the economic and social situation. This can involve, for example, urban renewal, beautification of green spaces and open spaces, the formation of networks of stakeholders in areas of the cities, and support for the local traders’ and service providers’ organisations.

In the "Development of Urban Economic Areas with Special Potential" strand, economic areas with special potential are to be further developed so that companies and innovative service providers gain better surroundings in which to operate and so that communication and co-operation between companies and academia is promoted further.

A characteristic of the urban economic areas with special potential (e.g. Bremen’s Technology Park) is a close geographical and substantive relationship between research and development capacities and innovative companies in the state of Bremen; however, many of these areas are underdeveloped in terms of urban life.

This strand envisages projects which, for example, will contribute to the development of an attractive range of leisure, cultural, local relaxation and local supply services, as well as skilled real estate management or targeted marketing of the area.

The "Enhancing the Profile of the Cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven" strand takes up two of Bremen’s strengths, which are to be enhanced via the promotion of individual projects: firstly Bremen’s location on the river, and secondly its academic institutions.

The intention is to make the potential offered by the natural environment along the River Weser a more immediate experience for residents and visitors, to improve access to the river bank areas, and to create a basic infrastructure for sustainable tourism. At the same time, the dialogue between society and academia is to be fostered in order to enhance the public understanding of science and the transfer of knowledge.

Bremen’s ERDF programme was drawn up with the involvement of the Senator for Education and Science, the Senator for Labour, Women, Youth, Health and Social Affairs, and the Senator for Environment, Construction, Transport and Europe; the lead responsibility for its implementation rests with the Senator for Economics and Ports.

Before the draft programme was submitted to the European Commission for approval, external experts scrutinised whether the strategic orientation and objective of the programme were likely to achieve the intended effects. The assessment of the draft programme was positive.

Representatives of Bremen’s economic and social partners are involved both in the drawing up of the programme and in its implementation.

Table of Funding

Priority axisEU fundingNational public- sector fundingNational private- sector fundingOverall fundingShare of EU funding
Priority axis 1:
Promoting innovation and knowledge
Priority axis 2:
Activating urban commercial and residential areas
Technical assistance2,206,6312,206,63104,413,26250.00

The complete Bremen ERDF-Programme 2007 - 2013 as well as further information will be found on this site


You find here a brief description of the ERDF-Programm Bremen 2007 - 2013:

Flyer Kurzprogramm EFRE (pdf, 416 KB)