ERDF, the European Regional Development Fund, promotes innovation and low-carbon economy projects. A broad definition, which is interpreted differently in the Dutch ERDF regions. PNO helps you determine whether you can make use of an ERDF grant for your project.


The ERDF (in Dutch: EFRO, Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling) aims to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. Based on their prosperity, all regions and Member States will concentrate the support on a more competitive and smarter Europe (policy objective – PO 1), as well as a greener, low-carbon transition towards a net zero carbon economy and resilient Europe (PO 2).


In 2021-2027, the fund will enable investments to make Europe and its regions:

  • more competitive and smarter, through innovation and support to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as digitisation and digital connectivity
  • greener, low-carbon and resilient
  • more connected by enhancing mobility
  • more social, supporting effective and inclusive employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare, as well as enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism
  • closer to citizens, supporting locally-led development and sustainable urban development across the EU.


In the Netherlands, there are four ERDF regions – West, East, North and South – that use this European budget as they see fit. Broadly speaking, the ‘country parts policy’ is in line with the regional elaboration of the Dutch top sector policy.

Companies, knowledge institutes and governments can apply for an ERDF grant for projects, preferably in a regional partnership. These projects must be in line with the focus areas of the ERDF region concerned and with the overarching themes. Cooperation is not mandatory, but it undoubtedly increases the chance of a positive assessment of the grant application. Even more than before, the grant provider would like to see SMEs participate in such projects. It is expected that there will be two grant rounds per year for each region.

How can we help you?

PNO’s consultants will be glad to inform you on the details of ERDF. As we have extensive networks in all four ERDF regions, we can provide you with the relevant (regional) information and support you with your application. Please feel free to contact us, call +31 (0)88 838 13 81 or send us a message:

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