Hübner welcomes Lombardy’s flair for innovation

 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Support for investment of economic public and private actors in order to reinforce competitiveness, attractivity of regions and employment

Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, visits Milan today to attend a launch event for Lombardy’s new 2007-2013 regional programme, which strongly features research and innovation

ombardy has an excellent research infrastructure, with a network of about 500 research centres. It includes many leading universities and institutes working at the cutting edge of new technologies. .

New regional programme

Lombardy will benefit from EU investment worth €211 million for its 2007-2013 programme. Half of this will be for research and innovation. The programme will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. The region plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 000 tons per year by 2013. It will also encourage sustainable mobility reducing the environmental impact of transport, for instance, through car pooling, car sharing and road pricing. Disparities within the region will be addressed by improving the attractiveness of the more remote areas by developing their tourist, environmental and cultural potential. The programme also aims to secure access to broadband networks for the 8% of inhabitants and 50 000 firms in areas without it.

Project visits

The region benefited under the previous URBAN community initiative of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Commissioner Hübner will visit Villa Scheibler, in a deprived suburb of Milan. The country house and its surrounding park have been restored to their 18th century splendour and will start operating at the end of this month as a venue for exhibitions, an employment agency and an urban development agency (ERDF contribution of € 3.5 million).

Milan was recently chosen as the location for World Expo 2015, to be held in October of that year, with the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. Commissioner Hübner will meet the city’s mayor Mrs Letizia Moratti, who will explain the impact of the event on the region’s development strategy. The city’s infrastructure will be improved with an extension to its subway network, and the Expo is expected to contribute to creating 70 000 new jobs, boosting sectors such as hotel, catering, taxi and commercial services. EU investment can support this development in line with the region’s new programme.

Note for editors

With its central location, the region will also play an important role in territorial cooperation programmes. It has been appointed as the Managing Authority for the cross-border programme between Italy and Switzerland, involving an EU contribution of €69 million. In the previous programming period, the two countries cooperated on the “Insubrinet” project, which consisted of an optical fibre network connection among the universities and research centres in the Insubric Region. In 2007-13, Lombardy will also take part in four transnational programmes: “Med”, “Central Europe”, “South East Europe” and “Alpine Space”.

 
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