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Competitiveness Operational Programme (POC)

 · To address the challenges stemming from the low support for research, development and innovation (RDI) and the under-developed information and communication technologies (ICT) services and infrastructure.

Contact points
Actions able to be supported

The operational programme Competitiveness focuses on two main priorities:

  1. Research, technological development and innovation (RDI) to support economic competitiveness and business development (total budget 952.57 MEUR):
    • Promoting investment in R&I, developing links and synergies between businesses, research and development centers and higher education
      • Action 1.1.1: Large R&D infrastructures (A: investments for R&D departments of enterprises & B: Projects for innovative clusters)
      • Action 1.1.2: Development of networks of R&D centers, coordinated at national level and linked to European and international networks and providing researchers with access to scientific publications and European and international foundations
      • Action 1.1.3: Creating synergies with RDI actions of the EU’s HORIZON 2020 framework program and other international RDI programs
      • Action 1.1.4: Attracting staff with advanced skills from abroad to strengthen R&D capacity
    • Improve research and innovation (R&I) infrastructures and capacities to develop excellence in R&I and promote competence centers, especially those of European interest, by linking them to existing or emerging clustering structures that aim at innovation and economic development
      • Action 1.2.1: Stimulate companies’ innovation demand through RDI projects undertaken by businesses individually or in partnership with R&D institutes and universities for the purpose of product and process innovation in the growth sectors with potential for growth
      • Action 1.2.2: Credit and risk capital measures in favor of innovative SMEs and research organizations responding to market demands
      • Action 1.2.3: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
  2. Information and communication technologies for a competitive digital economy (total budget 630.2 MEUR)
    • Broadband deployment and high-speed network delivery, as well as support for the adoption of emerging technologies and networks for the digital economy; digital inclusion, online culture and e-health
    • Strengthen ICT applications for eGovernment, eLearning
Rate of co-financing and conditions

The rates of co-financing will be defined in detail in guidelines to the individual support programmes.

Other important information

The details on the Action able to be supported can be found in dedicated Guides for Applicants for individual priority axis.

Title of the instrument
Competitiveness Operational Programme (POC)
Type of aid

Non-repayable grant

Eligible beneficiaries
Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Public Services
Time frame
01/01/2014 - 31/12/2023
Total budget
Total OP budget: 1,582,770,847.00 € (Total EU contribution: 1,329,787,234.00 €)
Legal basis
Commission Implementing Decision C(2014)10233 of 19.12.2014 approving certain elements of the operational programme "Competitiveness";Guides for applicants for defined priority axis (actions)
Usefull links
Competitiveness Operational Programme (POC) website
Guides for applicants for defined priority axis (actions) and information to calls