The NOP for R&C is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the Regions of Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily and finances projects for scientific research, technological development, industrial competitiveness and innovation for the 2007-2013 programming period. The success behind the National Operational Programmes for 'Scientific Research, Technological Development, Higher Education' and 'Local Entrepreneurial Development (2000-2006)' provides the basis for the NOP.
The NOP for "R&C" originally had an overall budget of approximately €6.2 billion, of which 50% was provided by ERDF and 50% was national funds. The whole amount was reduced in 2012 by €1.78 billion, following Italy's choice to redesign the operational programmes to support the Cohesion Action Plan.
The purpose of the Programme is to ensure that the potential production and implementation of levels of excellence in research and innovation are fully exploited in the four Convergence regions, thus guaranteeing lasting and sustainable development.
The Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), in its capacity as Managing Authority (MA) and the Ministry of Economic Development (MiSE), in its capacity as Intermediate Body (IB) hold political responsibility for the NOP for R&C and are jointly responsible for its implementation. Shared governance over the NOP for R&C between the two ministries favours the integration of research and technological development policies with policies for economic development and industrial innovation, and hence ensures consistent action and more effective measures.
The NOP for Research and Competitiveness 2007-2013 consists of priority Action Lines, avoiding any further unnecessary complications or subdivisions. This streamlined procedure means that the operational management of the Programme's resources is now more efficient and dynamic.
The specific objectives of each Action Line are listed below:
Action Line I includes structural interventions, the promotion of scientific and technological networks and incentives for business. The objective is to change specialised production in the Convergence regions by promoting the development and consolidation of sectors relating to science and technology.
Action Line II includes interventions that, on one hand, improve the focus on business innovation and development, and on the other, improve territorial appeal and competitiveness in order to increase the ability of local business to adapt their strategies to changes in the business context.
Action Line III includes interventions to improve the efficiency of planned measures, optimising the NOP's strategic management. Moreover, Action Line 3 includes interventions relating to best practices and knowledge transfer.
The method adopted for the joint management of the Programme by MIUR and MiSE is not to be considered as a simple allocation of responsibilities based on the Action Lines; on the contrary, the measures within each Action Line have been structured to benefit from an effective and synergic collaboration between the two administrations.
An important part, intersecting all Action Lines, is attributed to integrated actions for sustainable development and the information society. These are considered drivers of business innovation and capable of qualifying the business context in which the enterprises operate.