In November 2016 MRDH, a voluntary association of the 23 municipalities in the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Area published a comprehensive and integrated regional economic strategy entitled Roadmap Next Economy (RNE) (https://mrdh.nl/RNE). Following a request to the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), EIB experts are working with the RNE Executive to develop an Investment Strategy to secure the funding for the implementation of the RNE and to assess the potential to set up an Investment Platform.
The RNE Strategy
The RNE strategy takes its inspiration from the Third Industrial Revolution, the transformative changes taking place globally including climate change, geopolitical changes, increased migration, growing inequality, natural resource depletion and the emergence of disruptive technological innovations. The RNE sets out a long term strategy to enable the region to respond to these challenges through an integrated programme combining quick win projects with longer term strategic objectives across five transition pathways: Smart Digital; Smart Energy; Circular Economy; Entrepreneurial Region; and Next Society.
The RNE recognises the need to develop an investment strategy that allows the strategic deployment of a range of different types of funding including loans, technical assistance, guarantees and grants to secure the public and private investment needed to realise the different projects and objectives of the strategy. As part of this strategy an Investment Platform has been proposed that would combine funding from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) with other EU instrument, national resources and private investment to create a vehicle to support bankable RNE projects that would otherwise not be able to secure funding in the market.
The Hub has engaged with the RNE Executive to agree a six month support package. EIB Financial Instruments experts are working alongside the RNE team to identify the different funding requirements of the RNE programme, review the initial project pipeline, carry out interviews with key stakeholders including existing sources of private financing and undertake a more detailed review of the viability of a number of early win projects. This work is helping to assess the nature and scale of the demand for an Investment Platform. The final deliverables will include recommendations for the investment strategy, governance structure and implementation options and next steps for a future Investment Platform for RNE. The work is expected to conclude in March 2018.