This abbreviation signifies the “Operational Program for the promotion of investments in growth and employment for North Rhine- Westphalia from the European fund for regional development” (in German: Operationelles Programm Nordrhein-Westfalens für die Förderung von Investitionen in Wachstum und Beschäftigung aus dem Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung). Simply put: OP ERDF NRW stands for an extensive stimulus package which is looking ahead towards the future of the state NRW.

This is all about the conviction that innovation, entrepreneurship and technological advance, together with outstanding research and competitive small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), are the driving force for further, positive developments in NRW.

Promoting new technologies and innovative enterprises means forging new paths for the country and its people - in all areas of life. This is even more important considering the great challenges that NRW is facing in times of continuing structural change. 

District development, sustainable economic management, energy transition, equality of opportunity, inclusion, demographic change, integration of immigrants: These are all issues that NRW is aiming to solve. And for all of these OP ERDF NRW will contribute its share towards tangible solutions.

With this program, NRW does not only have the chance to set the defining course for its own future, but also become a model for other urbanized regions in Europe. A great challenge, but an even greater incentive. The OP ERDF NRW is designated until 2020. 

With a volume of 2.42 billion euros (half of this stem from EU-grants), this is one of the biggest funding programs in the history of the country. Funds are divided in the following manner:

Priority Axes

  • 40 percent are applied for promoting research, technological development and innovation. This is priority axis 1.
  • 15 percent are deployed for making small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) competitive. This is priority axis 2.
  • 25 percent are used to reduce CO2 emissions. This is priority axis 3.
  • 20 percent are applied to benefit sustainable urban district development programs. This is priority axis 4.

Each priority axis of the OP ERDF NRW has its own specific aims. All essential information about the OP ERDF NRW is presented on the fact sheet.