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Contribution of innovation funding in the development of the NRW-Lead Markets

Specific Evaluation 1.1

The „Operational Program for the promotion of investments in growth and employment for North Rhine- Westphalia from the European fund for regional development“ – or short for OP ERDF NRW (2014-2020) or OP EFRE NRW in German – from the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy in North Rhine-Westphalia (MWIDE NRW) – is aiming for funding of new technologies and innovative business in North Rhine-Westphalia. Prognos has specifically examined the so-called Lead Markets within the framework of the funding programme. The aims of OP EFRE NRW are to transfer the knowledge of research to economic application, open new markets, the reduction of obstacles for innovation, and the development of new value-added chains.

Development Opportunities for North Rhine-Westphalia

Overall, the evaluation shows that innovation funding has a positive effect on the Lead Markets in North Rhine-Westphalia. The funding is a decisive impulse for the innovation activity in a predominant number of the funded projects. The projects are often at the very beginning of the innovation cycle and as a result of funding the projects are making big steps towards commercial application. Thus, the funding of Lead Markets reaches its goal to bring projects close to the market. This contributes to sustainable innovations, which strenghtens North Rhine-Westphalia as an innovation location.

Recommended action

Despite the positive overall conclusion, there are further suggestions on basis of the evaluation results. Seven advices are direct recommendations and include among other things ideas for a better connection between projects. Five recommendations are strategic suggestions and cover ideas for a thematic extension of the innovation funding in North Rhine-Westphalia. All this needs to be aligned with the new strategy for smart specialization that the Land is currently developing.
In conclusion, the funding programme should be continued under consideration of the mentioned recommendations.

Autor: Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer, Matthias Woiwode von Gilardi (DLR PT)

Kunde: Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy in North Rhine-Westphalia

Jahr: 2020

Bereich: Economy & Innovation

Themenfeld: Strukturpolitik

Tags: ERDF, investment, North Rhine-Westphalia