The Regional Development Agency (ROM) is being set up. The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, the Noord-Holland Noord region and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) have joined forces for this. During the last Council of Ministers before the summer recess, it was decided to send the proposal to establish the ROM to the Senate and House of Representatives. This means that the establishment of the ROM is moving forward.
The aim of the ROM is to stimulate the regional economy. Bringing together local authorities and entrepreneurs makes an important contribution to realizing a sustainable and innovative economy in the region. The substantive scope and working method of the Board and the ROM are highly overlapping and complement each other. By working together, more impact can be achieved on initiatives in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. As initiators from the very beginning, the province of Noord-Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam have already decided to contribute 40 million euros each to the ROM.
The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA) and Noord-Holland Noord (NHN) together account for more than 25 percent of the national economy. However, the region faces a double challenge. The consequences of the corona pandemic have created major economic challenges. At the same time, we want to make a transition to a sustainable economy and implement the Climate Agreement. These are all challenges that transcend municipal boundaries and require appropriate investments. These investments cannot be picked up by market parties alone; governments have an indispensable role as a driver and investor. This joint responsibility was also an important reason for the Council of Ministers to approve the intention to set up the ROM on Friday 9 July.
Own ROM for all entrepreneurs
State Secretary Mona Keijzer (Economic Affairs and Climate): “I want to support our innovative entrepreneurs in their growth and the development of new products and services. The ROMs play a key role in this. After all, they know the entrepreneurs in their region best and can therefore assist them optimally. With the intended ROM for Noord-Holland, soon – after approval by the Senate and the House of Representatives – entrepreneurs from all over the country will be able to contact their own Regional Development Agency.”
Target capital of 160 million
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and local authorities in the region will become the shareholders of the ROM. After being established this autumn, the ROM will have two funds at its disposal. The first is an SME fund worth 60 million euros, aimed at innovative SMEs with broad regional spearheads, such as high tech, the repair and manufacturing industry, agrifood, logistics, life sciences and health. In addition, there will be a transition fund with an intended capital of 100 million euros, for investments in the energy transition and circular economy, such as an investment for setting up a green hydrogen infrastructure. In addition, the ROM offers support in the form of business development and the possibility of implementing government regulations in the future. Examples of this are the Corona Bridging Scheme (COL) and the ‘jobs and economy’ emergency package. In this way, the collaborating parties create an instrument that allows public funds from Europe and The Hague to land as effectively as possible with entrepreneurs in the region.
Deputy Ilse Zaal (Economics and Labor Market & Education province of North Holland): “We have a very nice and unique instrument here, which helps entrepreneurs realize innovations. The establishment of a ROM makes an important contribution to making the regional economy future-proof in a sustainable way. I hope that many more municipalities will participate in the ROM.”
Municipalities in the province of Noord-Holland on the move
A number of important steps have already been taken in the run-up to capitalizing on economic and sustainable opportunities for the region. Earlier, the city council of Amsterdam and the Provincial Council, in addition to the councils of mayor and aldermen of other municipalities in the region, already decided to join as shareholder of the ROM through a joint regional company. The province of Noord-Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam are both contributing 40 million euros to the ROM.
Alderman Victor Everhardt (Economic Affairs, Amsterdam): “With the ROM we, the various authorities together with companies, can make the economy in the region more innovative and boost it. This form of co-financing makes it possible for the business community to attract large investments to the region and thus create new jobs, accelerate the energy transition and sustainable economic recovery after corona. This will build the road to Paris in our metropolitan region.”
The next step is the decision-making of other municipal councils in the province of North Holland, after which a definitive establishment will take place at the beginning of October 2021.
Collaboration with the Board
The substantive scope of the Board and the ROM is highly overlapping. Both focus on working on an impact on the circular and energy transition and on strengthening the region’s future earning capacity. The Board and the ROM can also complement each other to a great extent in the working method of both players. The focus of the Board is among others on agenda setting and network management. This gives us an important boosting role in initiating and taking initiatives further. The focus of the ROM is on business development and financing. By working together, the Board and the ROM – as crucial links in the regional ecosystem – can strengthen each other through network collaboration and achieve greater impact.
Want to know more?
Would you like to know more about the ROM and other current regional developments that influence the strength of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area in working towards a smart, green and healthy future? Read about the three regional developments relevant to the Board network.