The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has adopted an innovation strategy for the new funding period of the NRW 2014–2020 Operational Programme for the European Regional Development Fund, "Investing in Growth and Employment" (OP ERDF NRW). This includes a leading market strategy in addition to the “Progress NRW" research strategy and the “NRW Transfer Offensive".
The principal aims of the leading market strategy are the promotion of technological, economic and social innovations, the creation of partner networks within value chains, the development of markets, the profiling of NRW as a business location, and the safeguarding and development of competitiveness and jobs.
In accordance with the current social challenges and the specific strengths of NRW, the strategy envisages that competitions are held in the eight leading markets of mechanical and plant engineering/production technology, new materials, mobility and logistics, the information and communications sector, the energy and environmental sectors, media and the creative industries, and health and life sciences.
The State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia has commissioned LeitmarktAgentur.NRW with holding the Lead Market Competitions. The agency is a collaborative undertaking of the two project management agencies, PtJ and ETN, both part of Forschungszentrum Jülich.
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