Development priorities: South Ostrobothnia

The priorities for development activities in South Ostrobothnia were set in a regional strategy approved on 17 March 2014. The regional strategy guides the allocation of Structural Fund money in the region.

1. Competitiveness of SMEs (ERDF)

The competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises is to be promoted through the development of non-material models of action for companies and company networks based on the growth company programme for South Ostrobothnia. ERDF investment support can be granted mainly for projects that support the goal for low carbon emissions. It can also be granted for projects carried out by new companies which are aimed at the international market, or projects carried out by SMEs with great innovative value.

2. Producing and utilising new  knowledge and skills (ERDF)

The emphasis is on the development of concentrations of research, expertise and innovation linked with the implementation of the strategy for higher education in South Ostrobothnia, as well as projects for learning environments, piloting, demonstration, and development that support business activities in the region.

3. Employment and mobility of labour (ESF)

Developing and producing models and individual support measures for the advancement of employment as a collaborative effort of different players. Special attention is paid to transitions of those under the age of 30 who are qualifying for a profession, or who have recently qualified, as well as to those over the age of 54. Actions to prevent unemployment from being prolonged are also an area of focus. Improving the skills and well-being at work of employees of microenterprises and SMEs.

4. Training, professional skill and lifelong learning (ESF)

Promoting students' readiness for life at work and entrepreneurial attitudes at all levels of education. Collaboration between education and the world of work is to be strengthened and educational arrangements supporting multiprofessionalism and special teaching arrangements are to be developed.

5. Social participation and fighting poverty (ESF)

Development of services that promote participation and resident-oriented methods of action from the point of view of readiness for work, including measures aimed at supporting life management and possibilities for getting employment. Another aim is to strengthen multidisciplinary collaboration among the third sector, business, municipalities, and educational institutions, for instance.